Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Inexplicable Charisma Of The Rival

Steven Moffat has said that fans of Doctor Who can expect to see a lot more cliffhangers during his time on the show. Saturday's episode of the popular family SF drama saw a dramatic cliffhanger in which the Doctor and Rory discovered that Amy had been kidnapped. Moffat said that this is something he has purposefully reintroduced to the series, telling Radio Times: 'The only thing that was missing when Doctor Who came back this time was that there weren't enough cliffhangers. Do you remember in the old days? The music crashing in just as the Doctor finds out ... I love that. Plus it encourages the audience to come back. So we are bringing the cliffhanger back in force.' The Doctor Who showrunner also defended himself over criticism that the series has become 'too complicated' and 'too horrific' since he took over from Russell Davies. Although 'criticism' from whom - other than cretinous glakes with the attention span of seven seconds or thuggish bullyboy right-wing lice-scum newspapers with an agenda - the magazine did not say. 'You have to pay attention,' Moffat said. 'You can't watch it when you are doing the ironing. And you certainly can't watch it when you are tweeting. You have to sit down and focus, and a child audience certainly does that.' Of course, telling some modern TV viewers that they shouldn't be tweeting whilst watching a TV show is a bit like trying to convince David Cameron that all of the bands he claims to have 'rilly liked' as a teenager collectively hate his breathing guts and everything he stands for, it just does not compute. Moffat also confirmed that he has no plans to bring back perennial Doctor Who adversaries the Daleks any time soon, claiming the villains have been overused since the show returned in 2005. 'We thought it was about time to give them a rest,' he explained. 'They are the most famous of the Doctor's adversaries and the most frequent, which means they are the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe.' Which, of course, just about every national newspaper picked up on as a story about Daleks stories disappearing completely when The Moffster presumably meant they wouldn't be used in the next series. Even better, if you happen to read that bastion of accurate reporting the Daily Scum Mail (yes, I know, but let's just suppose), you will discover - quite possibly to your surprise - that, apparently, the Daleks appeared in Doctor Who's 'second episode' (which they didn't, they first appeared at the end of the fifth, obliquely, and start of the sixth in full vision), that they were designed by one 'Ray Crusick' (which they weren't, it was Ray Cusick) apparently, and that they reappeared with new red, yellow and blue colours 'in 2005.' Which they didn't. Nice one, you Scum Mail lice. Always good to see you keeping up your usual penchant for talking absolute and total shite at every opportunity.

Doctor Who guest star Frances Barber has revealed details about her role in this week's mid-series finale. The actress will appear as Madame Kovarian in Saturday night's episode of the popular BBC family SF drama, A Good Man Goes To War. Barber told Total TV Guide: 'She's popped up in several episodes, but until now you're not sure who she is, or who she is even talking to.' She added: '[Kovarian is] involved with Amy's pregnancy, before and after the birth, and is in charge of a band of soldiers.' Barber, who has made cameo appearances in four recent episodes, also praised her character's unusual outfit. 'It's a very fitted Forties femme-fatale look, but it has a futuristic twist,' she explained. 'It's a powerful, dominatrix look, though not in a sexual way. Doctor Who is a family drama!'

Top Twenty programmes week-ending 22 May 2001:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - ITV Sat - 9.81m
2 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 9.69m
3 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 9.17m
4 The Apprentice - BBC1 Wed - 8.10m
5 Doctor Who - BBC1 Sat - 7.35m
6 Emmerdale - ITV Mon - 7.04m
7 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 6.70m
8 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 6.25m
9= Waterloo Road - BBc1 Wed - 5.87m
9= Vera - ITV Sun - 5.87m
11 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 5.68m
12 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 5.55m
13 The British Academy Television Awards - BBC1 Sun - 5.40m
14 The British Soap Awards 2011 - ITV Wed - 5.31m
15 Strangeways - ITV Mon - 5.28m
16 Ten O'Clock News - BBc1 Tues - 5.20m
17 Crimewatch UK - BBC1 Tues - 5.01m
18 Long Lost Family - ITV Thurs - 4.88m
19 Formula One: The Spanish Grand Prix - BBC1 Sun - 4.75m
20 The ONE Show - BBC1 Tues - 4.72m
The ITV figures do not include ITV HD which are, for some reason, counted seperately. BBC2's top-rated show of the week was Louis Theroux: Miami Mega-Jail - Sun - 3.44m. Channel Four's was 24 Hours In A&E - Wed - 2.41m. Channel Five's was CSI - Tues - 2.61m. And the most-watched multi-channel show was Celebrity Juice - ITV2 Thurs - 2.25m

Ray Winstone is to star in a television adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, the BBC has announced. The three-part drama will be part of BBC1's Christmas programming. Sarah Phelps's adaptation will form the centrepiece of the BBC's celebration of the 2012 bicentenary of Dickens's birth. In his first BBC television appearance in five years, Winstone will star as Abel Magwitch alongside Douglas Booth, who is to play Pip. Filming will begin in July in London. 'Great Expectations is my favourite novel and I'm thrilled to be playing Magwitch,' growled Big Ray. 'I've wanted to play him for ages, I'm really excited about Sarah Phelps's take on the story and I can't wait to get stuck in.' Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama commissioning, said: 'Sarah's adaptation is both suspenseful and thrilling and the casting of Ray and Douglas for our visceral retelling will capture the hearts and guts of this classic to mark Dickens's bicentenary year, especially for Christmas on BBC1.' Phelps said: 'Great Expectations is one of my favourite novels, an epic story about obsession, corruption, revenge, redemption and forgiveness. It is dark and complex, with the shadow of the gallows always present, but beating throughout is the passionate human heart. Ultimately, it is a story of what we will do, what we will risk and just how far we will go for love.' The BBC said the rest of the cast would be announced soon.

Senior BBC executives are to begin holding briefings with staff over the next couple of weeks to share 'emerging thinking' about director general Mark Thompson's Delivering Quality First cost-saving initiative. Thompson is trying to use DQF to work out how the BBC can manage with a six-year licence fee freeze and taking on additional funding obligations such as BBC World Service. Earlier this year, a consultation was held with staff to come up with cost-saving ideas. A fortnight ago BBC senior management met at two away days at one of the BBC's sites in Caversham Park in Berkshire to begin the process of whittling down the suggestions. In an e-mail to BBC staff, Thompson said that 'around ten thousand of you have got involved in some way in Delivering Quality First.' He said that at the meetings in Caversham senior managers 'heard the draft recommendations from all nine workstreams. We spent two days discussing and debating them, taking some on to the next stage, rejecting others. Now we've begun to fit them together into what will ultimately be an integrated set of proposals which over the next few months we will take first to the executive board and then the BBC Trust,' Thompson added. 'Nothing has yet been formally proposed, let alone decided – which is why you should continue to take those alleged "leaks" with a big pinch of salt – but I've asked all of the BBC's directors to hold briefings for their part of the BBC from June onwards to share some of the emerging thinking with you.' Thompson is also planning to arrange a briefing for the whole BBC on what he called 'The world in 2016 – our picture of what audiences, technology and media competition could look like in five years' time.' Proposals suggested so far include replacing some of the dedicated reporters on Radio 4's Today and other news programmes with a 'pooled' system of journalists, and axing overnight programmes on BBC1 and BBC2. Other ideas that have been mooted include scrapping regional TV news bulletins at lunchtime and breakfast, ditching BBC2's daytime schedule, repeating natural history documentaries and BBC1 dramas more often and cutting BBC1's budget. Thompson told staff he realised DQF is 'going to mean some difficult choices,' but said it is an 'opportunity – to get our priorities right, to prepare the BBC for the next chapter in the digital story, to tackle some of the obstacles that get in the way of creativity and quality.'

Senna director Asif Kapadia has revealed that the Top Gear team loved his documentary about late Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna. Kapdia, who picked up the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award for the film, revealed that Senna convinced Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson that the Brazilian was the greatest ever F1 driver. 'Top Gear's watched by millions around the world, people on the moon are probably watching it right now!' Kapadia told the Digital Spy website. 'They came to see the film and they loved it. What's interesting is that Jeremy Clarkson came to see it and said, "I walked in as a big [Michael] Schumacher fan." He was going to argue why Schumacher was better than Senna. He saw the film and totally changed his tune.' The director added that he is pleased Top Gear will expose his movie to a huge worldwide audience. 'They've been really supportive and it's one of those shows that gets syndicated around the world and so people in America watch Top Gear and say, "We've got to see the Senna film." We're happy with that,' he explained.

Channel Five has pulled magic-based game show Impossible? after just two episodes but will give it a second shot when it revives Big Brother later this year. The game show, co-produced by Gogglebox Entertainment and GroupM Entertainment, aired in a 10pm Thursday night slot and drew below-par ratings. Originally meant to run over six weekly instalments, it debuted on 12 May with an average audience of five hundred and eighty five thousand viewers and lost nearly one hundred thousand viewers the following week. It was well below the channel's slot average of nine hundred and seven thousand viewers for the year to date and has since been replaced by films over upcoming weeks. However, a C5 spokesman said the broadcaster was pleased with how it performed 'with younger viewers' and confirmed it would return later in the year when it could relaunch the series alongside other entertainment shows such as Big Brother. 'Impossible? has performed really well amongst our core sixteen to thirty four audience,' the spokesman said. 'We have taken the decision to play out the rest of the series later this year, so that we can schedule it with other key upcoming shows including Big Brother. We're confident that this blend of entertainment and reality will resonate with viewers and work well for the channel.' The show is hosted by illusionist Philip Escoffey, who attempts to outwit contestants out of a big-money prize. The contestants are challenged to decide whether the challenges proposed by Escoffey are achievable or impossible. It they call it right, there is a cash prize worth up to forty grand.

Cheryl Cole is said to be 'depressed' following her sacking from The X Factor USA last week. 'Friends' of the singer say she has not stopped crying since returning from America. That'll just be happiness for being back in Newcastle. Even I get that a lot. 'Cheryl wasn't in the right frame of mind to commit to such a big project like The X Factor USA and it has ended up making her feel even worse after being rejected,' a 'source close to Cole' allegedly told the Mirra. 'She felt lost and just didn't enjoy life in America.' The 'insider' also claimed that Cole's problems became apparent as soon as she arrived in the US to begin work on the show. 'She was telling people she wanted to go home and although she was smiling for the cameras she was crying inside,' they continued. 'She spent weeks feeling homesick and staying in her hotel room.' Cole is said to have flown home from the US last week to stay with her family, and has so far kept a low profile. 'She is taking hardly any calls and there have been lots of tears all week, she is really down and depressed,' the 'source' allegedly added. Cole, Cowell, and ITV' have yet to make any comment regarding the singer's current status with regard to the US version of The X Factor. She definitely won't be appearing in the UK version, however. Yesterday, N-Dubz's Tulisa Contostavlos was officially confirmed as one of the new judges for The X Factor UK, alongside Gary Barlow, returning judge Louis Walsh and former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland.

Ant and Dec have joked that they are in danger of losing their jobs as Britain's Got Talent hosts in the wake of Cheryl Cole's exit from The X Factor USA. Oh, if only wishing made it so. Meanwhile another regular gobshite, Coleen Nolan, has called on Cheryl Cole to 'give herself a kick up the backside' (which is, of course, anatomically impossible, but we'll let that one pass for the moment) and bounce back from 'a terrible week.' Although what the frig any of this has to do with a faded old has-been with a face like a prune such as Nolan is, frankly, beyond this blogger. Anyone? And finally, in the 'let's use the Cheryl Cole situation to get our name in the newspapers' department, another faded old has-been with a face like a prune, Peter Andre, has reportedly advised Cole to 'roll with the punches.' Or, maybe he was talking about Amir Khan? Perhaps we'll never care.

Cole has reportedly failed to respond to any attempts at contact from Simon Cowell, as he is said to have told 'friends': 'She's had it with me.' I don't know about you, dear blog reader but that sounds more like her than him. Very 'Northern' phrase, 'had it with me,' don't you think? Cole has apparently ignored the music mogul following her still-unconfirmed departure from The X Factor USA. At least, this is all according to the Sun so it's probably lies. Cowell is said to have 'faced boos' from the Britain's Got Talent audience last night as he returned to the judging panel, although curiously only the Sun is reporting this. 'As soon as the warm-up guy said, "Simon is in the building," everyone suddenly started booing. People were saying, "That's for Cheryl,"' a 'source' allegedly said. Anonymous, of course. 'He was saying, "She's had it with me. I've hurt her and she won't forgive me for this." He is really worried that she won't speak to him ever again. Simon feels guilty as hell about what has happened to Cheryl. He has admitted it was a cock-up but she won't hear him out.' The 'insider' continued: 'They used to be so close. She'd text him round the clock for advice. Now she can't bring herself to speak to him. He feels like he's lost a lover.' Cole apparently decided against watching Cowell's return to Britain's Got Talent. 'Simon was putting on a brave face last night, smiling as if everything was fine. But the reality is, he's had the worst week of his professional and personal life,' a 'friend' is quoted as saying. We'll have to presume that the 'friend' is a different source from the 'insider' although the Sun's piece doesn't make this entirely clear. 'Cheryl had no intention of watching Simon's big night. It was the last thing she would be interested in. She still feels badly let down and seeing his face will make her more upset. Cheryl spent most of the evening checking out possible holiday destinations. She can't wait to get as far away from all this attention as possible and was eyeing up destinations in the middle of nowhere.'

Meanwhile, on the subject of shallow talent-show TV non-entities, big-arsed sitcom flop Amanda Holden has revealed that she has developed a taste for reality shows like Katie and Peter Andre: The Next Chapter. Quite how this constitutes 'news', I'm not sure but I run it anyway on the off chance that some crushed victim of society somewhere might find it informative. The Britain's Got Talent judge said that despite the criticism often levied at shows of that type, they are her 'guilty pleasure when relaxing. Katie Price, Peter Andre and Kerry Katona's shows - they're great bad telly,' Holden told the Radio Times. And, let's face it, she knows all about bad telly. Big Top, for one. 'I've developed a soft spot for Peter Andre. I was never a fan of his music but he comes across as a really good dad and I'm a sucker for stuff like that.' While Holden has no shame in admitting her love of reality shows, she is also happy to reveal which shows she hates the most. 'Frankie Boyle. I loathe him,' Holden explained. One is sure that the feeling is, entirely, mutual. 'I don't think he's funny or clever and I don't understand why anyone would give him a television show. You can print that." And they did. Although, without getting into a debate here about whether Mad Frankie is, or isn't funny, the suggestion that Amanda Holden, of all people, can criticise someone for being 'not funny' after the crimes sahe committed against comedy in Big Top is faintly laughable. In fact it's far funnier than anything seen in Mad Frankie's Tramadol Nights, for a kick-off. Keep up the good work, Mandy, we'll make a stand-up of you yet.

A major new cycle of Shakespeare's historical works will be brought to BBC Two in 2012 as part of a season based on his life and works. Involving some of the most pre-eminent Shakespearean actors and directors, the films will consist of bold adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V, filmed on locations around the UK and Europe. Filming on Richard II, the first of the four films, will commence next month in Wales. Locations include St David's Cathedral and Pembroke Castle, both being used for the first time as filming locations for a production of this scale. Production designer will be Andrew McAlpine, with Danny Cohen as Director of Photography and Odile Dicks Mireaux as Costume Designer. Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama, says, 'A fitting ensemble of some of this country's finest acting talent have assembled for Richard II. Shooting entirely on location, the director Rupert Goold brings a scale never before attempted on TV to the work by using St David's Cathedral and Pembroke Castle in Wales to give audiences something entirely unique.' Ben Whishaw will play the title role with Rory Kinnear as his challenger, Bolingbroke. John of Gaunt will be played by Patrick Stewart, with David Suchet as The Duke of York and David Morrissey as The Duke of Northumberland. Tom Hughes will play Aumerle and Mowbray will be played by James Purefoy. Clemence Poésy is Queen Isabella and Lindsay Duncan will take the role of The Duchess of York. Other confirmed cast members include Lucian Msamati and David Bradley. Pippa Harris, Executive Producer for Neal Street Productions, said 'With the backing of the BBC and NBC Universal, this is a fantastic opportunity to bring Shakespeare to a worldwide TV audience, in a vivid and enthralling way. It's hugely exciting to be working with such an array of talent.' Co-produced by Neal Street Productions with NBC Universal and WNET, and commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Janice Hadlow, these four films will be linked to the Cultural Olympiad of 2012.

Simon Cowell's new ITV show Red or Black has failed in a bid to persuade National Lottery operator Camelot to come on board the one million pound game show. Red or Black, which will be fronted by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, wey-aye, give-ower, is the first major UK show from Cowell's production company Syco since Britain's Got Talent four years ago. Cowell and ITV Studios, which is co-producing Red or Black, had been negotiating to involve Camelot in the show. The exact nature of the discussions – or the nature of the tie-up between the two parties – remains unclear. 'We're regularly approached by and undertake discussions with third parties about possible concepts and ideas for future National Lottery games,' said a spokesman for Camelot. 'These form part of our ongoing strategy to make the National Lottery even more exciting for players, ensuring we continue to grow sales and build on the twenty five billion pounds that our players have already raised for good causes. We were approached by Syco and worked with them and ITV on the Red or Black concept. However, after discussions, we didn't reach an agreement on the venture.' Broadcast live over the course of seven consecutive nights later this year on ITV, contestants will be able to win one million pounds on the spin of a wheel, but only if they can correctly guess a series of fifty-fifty challenges. Acutely aware of the restrictions on gambling in television programmes, Cowell preferred to say 'risk their luck' rather than gamble when describing how the show works. 'It's not gambling because people are not using their own cash,' he argued. A debatable point legally as well as ethically. Syco and ITV Studios are yet to finalise key elements of the co-production deal, including who will take the lead in the potentially lucrative, and prestigious, role of selling the format internationally if it becomes a hit. Cowell has said he hopes to take the format around the world and that he has already had interest from the US. While both Syco and ITV Productions maintain that the discussions are nothing out of the ordinary, it is understood that both sides are keen for the gross revenues of international deals to flow through their books. As joint partners both companies will ultimately benefit equally, however running the gross revenues through one balance sheet would benefit the top-line figures of whoever handles the sales – assuming the format is picked up internationally. ITV Studios, the maker of shows including Coronation Street and Come Dine With Me, reported revenues down twelve and a half per cent and earnings down eleven per cent in the year to the end of March. It has not created a global entertainment hit since Dancing on Ice in 2006. 'As with all of our programmes we will be seeking to deliver maximum value from the brand in collaboration with our production partners,' said a spokeswoman for ITV. 'We have a very strong commercial and creative relationship with Syco and we're in the process of conducting standard commercial discussions with them on Red or Black.' Syco, which co-produces Cowell's X Factor and Britain's Got Talent with FremantleMedia, is also thought to be keen to take on the international responsibilities. 'Syco are having the usual commercial discussions with ITV Studios, which of course involve looking at the complementary skill sets that both companies bring to the table,' said a Syco spokeswoman. FremantleMedia handles the international sales for X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.

The Only Way Is Essex's former story producer has criticised the 'snobbery' surrounding the show's BAFTA win. The ITV2 show won the viewers' choice category at the TV awards this month. Daran Little said the show followed on naturally from the likes of Big Brother and that its 'Scripted reality' format was 'here to stay.' He told the Radio Times: 'I was surprised by the snobbery surrounding the triumph of TOWIE. If fans want to show their appreciation by voting for it, what's the problem? Maybe it's because it seems that viewers want to wallow in the lives of "ordinary" people, to laugh at their stupidity and shout out their catchphrases. After all, isn't this the next evolution of Big Brother? To film fame-hungry but seemingly talentless young people in their natural environment rather than in one big house?' Little, who picked up a BAFTA for writing the drama The Road To Coronation Street, said: 'Maybe in fifty years' time it'll be just as hard to imagine life without structured reality shows.' Maybe. But, thankfully, I'll be long gone by the time that happens. Little left TOWIE after the first series but went on to story-produce E4 show Made In Chelsea, which follows socialites on and around London's King's Road. He said: 'For me, Chelsea is a different show to TOWIE. Last week a guy broke the news to his girlfriend that things weren't working out and he wanted to finish it. She had no idea it was coming and it was horribly real - and I couldn't drag my eyes away.'

And, speaking of 'fame-hungry but seemingly talentless young people' and crass pointless exercises in scripted reality, Geordie Shore cast member Charlotte-Letitia Crosby has confessed to attacking a taxi driver when drunk. The twenty-year-old slapper barmaid, who was arrested following the incident, claimed that she didn't know why she struck the victim. 'I got in a taxi, was sick in the car, said I needed to pee and then punched the driver in the face,' she told that icon of taste and style, New! magazine. 'I don't know why I punched him. I got locked in a cell for the night.' And, you're, what, proud of that, are you? Geordie Shore co-star Sophie Kasaei also revealed in the interview that she would happily kiss 'random people' on nights out for free drinks. 'I don't care if they're spotty, fat, ginger, whatever,' she said. This blogger is most of those chuck, and, believe me, I would care if you tried it on with me. Local MP Chi Onwurah criticised the MTV reality show at the weekend, claiming that it was giving Newcastle a bad reputation and described the programme as 'bordering on pornographic.' Which, as this blog noted yesterday, it isn't or anything even remotely like it, it's just bad. And, saying that it is gives it a notoriety that it doesn't deserve.

Former Conservative peer Lord Taylor of Warwick has been jailed for twelve months for falsely claiming over eleven thousand pounds in parliamentary expenses. And, as I write this, he will presumably be in the process of 'slopping out.' He claimed travel costs between his Oxford home and Westminster, as well as subsistence for staying in London. The fifty eight-year-old said he had made the false claims 'in lieu of a salary,' and had been acting on colleagues' advice. As though that made everything all right. Jailing him, judge Mr Justice Saunders said the expenses scandal had 'left an indelible stain on Parliament.' Taylor, who was Britain's first black Conservative peer and a former barrister and radio and TV presenter, listed his main residence as a home in Oxford, which was owned by his nephew, while he actually lived in a flat in London. He pleaded not guilty to the charges - saying had been told by senior peers it was 'normal practice' to make false expenses claims - but was convicted in January. His legal team argued that he should not face prison because, as a peer, his crimes were less serious than those of MPs found guilty over their expenses. They said a custodial term would 'destroy him,' adding that: 'Every fibre of Taylor is motivated by public service.' But Mr Justice Saunders said that Taylor had lied to journalists investigating his expenses and lied while giving evidence to the jury during his trial. 'The expenses scheme in the House of Lords was based on trust,' he said. 'Peers certified that their claims were accurate. They were not required to provide proof. It was considered that people who achieved a peerage could be relied on to be honest. Making false claims involved a breach of a high degree of trust.' Taylor is the latest in a series of politicians to be jailed for expenses fraud. Former Labour MP Jim Devine was given a sixteen-month term after also pleading not guilty. His fellow former Labour members Eric Illsley, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley all pleaded guilty and were jailed for twelve, eighteen and sixteen months respectively. Lord Hanningfield, another former Conservative peer, was convicted last week and is awaiting sentence.

WBC world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has warned fellow boxer Amir Khan that he could be in danger of slipping 'under the radar' unless he ends his bitter feud with Sky. Froch, who only recently agreed a deal with the satellite broadcaster after years of fighting on other channels, suggested that his lack of exposure significantly hindered his career. The thirty three-year-old's world title defence against Glen Johnson in Atlantic City will be shown by Sky this Saturday, and he warned Khan about losing valuable TV coverage. Froch told the Sun: 'Why would anyone leave Sky and go to another? But Khan has been taking advice and did exactly that for his last fight. Has Khan taken the right advice? His team obviously think they are doing the right things but Amir is in danger of disappearing from general public view. If he doesn't fight on Sky he will slip under the radar.' Froch added: 'I know because it has already happened to me. I didn't get the right TV exposure after I became world champion. My subsequent defences were not on mainstream TV either and that is why I am not a household name - but that is about to change. I've been trying to get back on Sky for a long time now and things are looking good as they will show my next fight against Johnson.' In April Sky refused to broadcast Khan's WBA title defence at Manchester's MEN Arena against Paul McCloskey following a dispute over pay-per-view fees. New boxing broadcaster Primetime TV agreed to air the fight and is keen to continue the relationship with Khan's management company. Sky executives are thought to be prepared to bid for TV rights to Khan's fights in future, but they will not be held to ransom.

Sponsors associated with FIFA have expressed concern at the damage allegations of corruption are causing world football's governing body. Coca-Cola and Adidas have voiced worries over the controversy, despite FIFA president Sepp Blatter stating that the organisation is not in crisis. But a Coca-Cola spokesperson said: 'The current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport.' Fellow sponsors Visa and Emirates are keeping a distance from the row. Blatter is expected to be re-elected to his post unopposed after his only rival candidate in Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, withdrew from the race to govern FIFA. In the lead-up to the 1 June vote, which there have been calls to postpone, Bin Hammam has been provisionally suspended by FIFA's ethics committee over allegations that financial incentives were offered to Caribbean Football Union members. Concacaf president the odious Jack Warner, whose FIFA association governs the region of North, Central American and Caribbean football, has also been provisionally suspended. And, in a progression of claim and counter-claim, Bin Hammam has appealed his ban, while Warner has revealed an e-mail sent to him from FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke suggesting Bin Hammam had 'bought' the 2022 World Cup final for Qatar. Although Valcke has moved to clarify his remarks in the e-mail, the developments will have fuelled bribery claims over the bidding process to host 2022 World Cup tournament, which will be held in Qatar. They beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament and its bid team has denied any wrongdoing. 'We have every expectation that FIFA will resolve this situation in an expedient and thorough manner,' added the Coca-Cola spokesperson. An Adidas spokesman said: 'Adidas enjoys a long-term, close and successful partnership with FIFA that we are looking forward to continuing. Adidas will be an official sponsor of World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Having said that, the negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners.' The Football Association and the Scottish Football Association have called for FIFA to postpone its presidential election. Although, the chances of that actually happening about about the same as those of Hartlepool winning the FA Cup next year. Blatter is vying to be re-elected for a fourth term and, despite insisting FIFA was 'not in crisis,' the FA's latest move comes amid world football's governing body being undermined by a series of corruption allegations. Meanwhile, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International backed calls for an independent body to delve into the goings on within FIFA. 'Free and fair elections cannot take place when there is a suspicion that voters may have been swayed,' Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor on sport to TI, said in a statement. 'FIFA delegates know that they must clean house if their vote is to have legitimacy.'

Yer actual latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, is a little under-appreciated classic from Momus.

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