Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Keep Your Eyes On The Road, Your Hands Upon The Wheel

Let's start off today's blog with some proper excellent news for a change: Danny Baker has announced that he has been given the all-clear following his recent cancer treatment. The broadcaster, and national treasure, was diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer last year but has now revealed the good news via Twitter. Baker posted: 'The call I have been waiting for just happened. Turns out I won. I'm all clear. I'm well again.' He added: 'I will be wearing this hat for the foreseeable future,' along with a photo of himself sporting a baseball cap that bears the word Lucky. Dan the Man had previously spoken about his diagnosis with the Gruniad Morning Star at the weekend, saying: 'I'm not queasy about it, I just don't find it an interesting subject. It bores me, to tell the truth. Some people enjoy talking about grim situations. I never have. Treat it like a roundabout and drive straight on.' He added: 'I've had tremendous fun for the last thirty years. It is an enormously absurd way to earn a living, and you can never lose sight of that. And when you get cancer for eight months, it's a drag, but all you want to do is get back to the goofy wonderland in which you rattle around. Yes, this got in the way for a while, but let's not dwell on that.' Ah, God bless ya, Dan, the nation needs you. Particularly after he spent the rest of the day on Twitter bemoaning the BBC's decision to sell of Television Centre! 'Flogging off TV Centre. From the company that brought you Restoration - Saving The Nation's Heritage. They're swapping studios that made I, Claudius, Python and Pennies From Heaven for ones that bring us Sing If You Can. The soulless crumbs. Like their video wiping vandalism, in fifty years BBC will be whining "If you have a piece of TV centre in your shed can we have it back?"'

Steve Coogan has revealed that the fictionalised version of himself which he portrays in The Trip pokes fun at the darker side of his true personality. The Trip, which has been edited from a BBC2 series into a feature film for the US, showcases Coogan and his friend Rob Brydon antagonising one another as they travel through Northern England on a restaurant tour. Director Michael Winterbottom has admitted that lines between fiction and reality became blurred during production, but Coogan told Slate magazine that he's not as dour as the movie portrays. 'There's elements of me that are in there. But the elements that are me are exaggerated, given more of a caricature. And the same goes for Rob,' the comic said. 'The other side of it is there is some invention there, too. We fashioned it based loosely on who we are. We manufactured and overemphasised the differences between our two characters so that we could come up with that tension and acrimony.' He added: 'I come up as slightly too precious and pretentious, and though there's some truth to that, I'm not as po-faced and neurotic and anxious as I come across in the film. I'm a bit more laid back and don't take myself quite so seriously. So I exaggerated that.'

Angus Deayton and Anna Chancellor have signed up to appear in BBC3's new comedy Pram Face. The six-part series will focus on two teenagers, Jamie and Laura, who meet at a Sixth Form party. However, their lives are turned upside down when Laura discovers that she is pregnant. Sean Verey, who has previously appeared in Skins and Doctors, has been cast as Jamie while EastEnders' Scarlett Alice Johnson will play Laura. Deayton and Chancellor will appear as Laura's parents, while Jamie's mother and father will be played by Ideal's Ben Crompton and The Commitments actress Bronagh Gallagher. Yasmin Paige, who recently appeared in the movie Submarine, will also feature in the show alongside Dylan Edwards, who has had roles in episodes of Misfits, Ideal and Peep Show. BBC3's controller Zai Bennett said: 'The team have assembled a brilliant cast to bring Chris Reddy's Pram Face to life and we're excited to welcome the show to BBC3 early next year.'

Jenson Button's hugely dramatic Formula 1 victory was watched by more than five million viewers on Sunday night, while Scott & Bailey again won its ratings battle with Case Histories despite losing another million viewers on overnights, the latest audience data has revealed. Coverage of the rain interrupted Canadian Grand Prix averaged 6.2m for BBC1 between 5pm and 9pm. After switching to BBC2, the climax of the race - in which Button went from last place to snatch victory on the last lap - had an average of 5.16m viewers. Which will, no doubt, completely fail to shut up the whinging moaners who complained in their tens to the Beeb about missing Antiques Roadshow. On ITV, Scott & Bailey was watched by 5.19m in the 9pm hour and a further two hundred and forty three thousand viewers on ITV1+1. The show again outperformed Case Histories, after the BBC's crime drama fell to just 3.83m on BBC1. Due to the Formula 1 coverage, Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow were not broadcast on BBC1. The Royal appealed to 4.74m on ITV in the 7pm hour. Popstar to Operastar wholly failed to entertain its 3.82m audience on ITV1 in the 8pm hour, down over half-a-million viewers week-on-week, whilst the results show had 2.51m from 10pm, down seven hundred thousand from the previous episode. Yeah. The novelty of that one's quickly worn off, hasn't it? A repeat of Top Gear pulled in 1.51m on BBC2 in the 7pm hour and a further one hundred thousand on the BBC HD channel. The first of a new series of James May's Toy Stories had an audience of 2.37m from 8pm and almost two hundred thousand in HD.

According to the Mirra's Nicola Methven, 'ITV chiefs want to dump Daybreak presenters Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles – but can't afford the four million pound pay-off.' And, not before time, frankly. The flop ITV breakfast show is 'horribly underperforming' according to 'senior sources' (and, you know, everyone else) and profits from advertising have 'halved' since it replaced GMTV last year. 'Bosses', the Mirra claims, are 'desperate for a sofa shake-up' but the vastly overpaid duo are said to be on three million pound three-year contracts and would have to be paid at least two million smackers each if they were sacked now. ITV finance chiefs say, the Mirra claims, that this is 'not an option' as 'profits continue to slide.' A 'source' allegedly said: 'We got stiffed on the deal. We can't pay them millions for nothing.' Well, arguably, you're paying them millions for nothing right now so, you know, some people might wonder what's the difference? Giggling lightweight non-entity Bleakley - whose only real ability as far as this blogger can work out is that of 'looking pretty and reading an autocue at the same time' - has already reportedly turned down a prime-time ITV entertainment show and Chiles is apparently 'being urged to focus on Champions League football and his Sunday chat show.' Daybreak started last September with about nine hundred thousand viewers. It slumped to lows of five hundred thousand in November and then three hundred thousand in January and currently pulls in about seven hundred thousand punters daily. Its predecessor GMTV attracted a steady nine hundred thousand during its final days and rival BBC Breakfast pulls in an average daily audience of between 1.6 and 1.8 million viewers. And, it is Daybreak's abject failure to 'win back the breakfast crown from the BBC' which has prompted 'crisis talks' over the futures of Bleakley and Chiles, claim the Mirra. One 'source' - we'll have to presume it's different from the previous 'source' they quoted, although the article does not make this entirely clear one way or the other - allegedly said: 'It's a common thing in television. The original faces on GMTV didn't work, it was only when it was overhauled after six months on-air that they became successful. The same needs to be done here. People have had a look at Christine and Adrian in the mornings and said "no thanks." There was too much hype and fanfare about them. The show is horribly underperforming and needs to be fixed.' The Mirra states that Daybreak currently earns ITV only half of what GMTV did in terms of advertising revenue income. The 'source' allegedly added: 'We spent fifteen million pounds on Daybreak and we've gone backwards. It needs sorting. But Christine and Adrian are an expensive headache.' ITV spent much of Daybreak's budget poaching Bleakley and Chiles from the BBC's ONE Show but, the Mirra states, the 'chemistry' that brought them success there 'has failed to materialise on the breakfast sofa.' Or, as has been widely observed elsewhere, given that The ONE Show has continued to get similar - actually, slightly higher - audiences with a variety of different presenters since Bleakley and Chiles left, it's quite possible that the reason for the show's success in the first place was nothing whatsoever to do with them but, rather, it was the format which viewers found comfortable. Certainly the fact that viewing figures for ONE Show episodes fronted by Alex Jones and firstly Jason Manford, then Matt Baker, and on Fridays, Chris Evans are all roughly the same as - sometimes marginally higher, than - when Chiles and Bleakley occupied the sofas suggests as much. 'Bosses admit their big salaries and Bleakley's status as Chelsea star Frank Lampard's WAG was a turn-off in a recession,' the Mirra state. And, in relation to the latter point, it's really hard to argue with that viewpoint especially when considering that Daybreak's audience is, largely, made up of non-working mothers. It's shockingly hard to try and cast Bleakley as anything other than the least likely 'woman to the people' imaginable. There is also a belief within the broadcasting industry - one which seems to have some evidence behind it - that one thing many television viewers take a very dim view of is apparent excessive greed in TV stars. Personalities leaving one channel on which they were well-settled and popular and moving to another, apparently solely because they were offered more money has never gone down particularly well with viewers as far back as Bruce Forsyth leaving the BBC and The Generation Game for ITV in the 1970s. Particularly in tough economic times. In the case of Chiles and Bleakley, despite protestations from both that their reasons for leaving the BBC for the lure of ITV's moolah was not financially driven, it's remarkable how few people actually believe them. In November, Bleakley admitted the show had 'teething problems' but after no obvious improvement, 'sources' now view them as 'rather more terminal,' according to the Mirra. This despite that fact that, regularly, someone connected with the show (usually either Chiles or Bleakley but, sometimes, one of the production team) will issue a bare-faced claim to the press that yes, they've 'had some problems' but now 'we've turned a corner.' Indeed, it has been suggested that Daybreak has turned so many corners over the past few months it's now simply going around in circles. Others have taken a more pragmatic view. Earlier this year, former GMTV boss Peter McHugh said: 'It is six months now since ITV launched Daybreak. The audience doesn't like it. It's time for a change.' He suggested that Chiles was 'not a morning person' and that Bleakley looked 'uncomfortable.' Even ITV's chief executive, Adam Crozier, has admitted: 'Daybreak has not performed as well as we would have liked.' And earlier this year, Chiles himself said: 'I don't think the British public wants to be told what to watch. I wish that we hadn't done that and had let people discover it for themselves – more low key with less fanfare.' Despite the Mirra's article, an ITV spokesman insisted: 'We have no plans to change Daybreak's presenting team.' They then followed this up with yet another example of the quite risible mediaspeak bollocks to which we've all become so accustomed whenever anyone asks an ITV spokesperson about Daybreak's dreadful ratings figures, awful audience appreciation index scores and general perception of being, let's not put too fine a point on this, something for a byword for crass TV disasters. 'Daybreak has continued to see steady growth in viewing particularly amongst housewives with children and younger viewers, and we continue to listen to feedback from our audience and develop the show.' No, I don't know what the hell any of that actually means either, dear blog reader. But, quite how a show which has massively under-performed since day one can have the words 'steady growth' used in connection with it is, frankly, laughable. You can try and spin the figures any way you like, pal but most TV viewers know a dog when they see one. And, to prove a point, how about another brief extract from the nation's favourite pass time, Daybreakwatch:-
Mon 6 Jun - 792k - AI - 67
Tues 7 Jun - 733k - AI - 67
Wed 8 Jun - 786k - AI - 67
Thurs 9 Jun - 808k - AI - 62
Fri 10 Jun - 727k - AI - 68
'Steady growth' my big fat buttocks.

Sir Terry Pratchett has defended a controversial BBC documentary that featured an assisted suicide, after criticism that it offered a biased view of the issue. Broadcast on Monday night on BBC2, Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die featured the renowned author following millionaire hotel owner Peter Smedley, who was suffering from motor neurone disease, as he took a lethal dose of barbiturates at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland last December. Liz Carr, a disability campaigner, described the programme as 'pro-suicide propaganda' and expressed her surprise that the BBC had produced it. Speaking on a special debate for the BBC's Newsnight, Carr said: 'I and many other disabled older and terminally ill people, are quite fearful of what legalising assisted suicide would do and mean and those arguments aren't being debated, teased out, the safeguards aren't being looked at. Until we have a programme that does that, then I won't be happy to move onto this wider debate.' Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007, said seeing Smedley's visit to Dignitas had not changed his mind on the issue of assisted suicide. 'I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer,' he said. Asked about the sanctity of life, Pratchett responded: 'What about the dignity of life?' He claimed that a lack of dignity was sufficient reason for someone to want to kill themselves, and advocated the right to assisted suicide for anyone over the age of consent. Also appearing on the Newsnight debate, the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Michael Langrish, said: 'I want to see much more emphasis put on supporting people in living, than assisting them in dying.' He added: 'The law still enshrines that sense of the intrinsic value of life. But the law ultimately is not there to constrain individual choice. It's there to constrain third-party action and complicity in another person's death. That remains illegal. There may be ameliorating circumstances that can be taken into account. But the law remains clear and is there to protect the vulnerable.' At an advance screening for Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die, Geoff Morris, of the Care Not Killing pressure group, accused the film of lacking objectivity. He said that the programme offered an unbalanced view of assisted death, as only one of the people interviewed by Pratchett was opposed to euthanasia. 'I felt more and more angry as I watched the programme. I was just watching it and thinking, "This is not reality,"' said Morris. 'It was just too beautiful, the only thing missing at the end was angels coming down and taking the man off to heaven.' The BBC denied that the documentary was biased, and stressed that the film was just about Pratchett's individual experience exploring the issue of assisted suicide. A spokeswoman added: 'It is giving people the chance to make their own minds up on the issue.'

Julie Benz has signed up for a guest role in Royal Pains. The Dexter actress will appear in an episode of the show in August, TV Guide reports. Benz will play a young mother called Elyse, who is married to a woman called Anna and lives on a farm. Hank (Mark Feuerstein) is called when Elyse injures herself on the farm and the wound fails to heal. As well as starring in Dexter, Benz previously had roles in Desperate Housewives, Roswell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. More recently, she appeared in ABC's No Ordinary Family, which was cancelled after one season. She will star in CBS's new drama A Gentle Man in the fall.

Rob Lowe and Ed O'Neill have admitted that they often find themselves frustrated with 'low-paying' acting jobs. The two actors participated in an Emmy Comedy Actor Roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter in which they discussed how actors can be 'taken advantage of' when offered good material. O'Neill said: 'I just had a thing last week where I thought for sure I was going to do a thing for HBO with Al Pacino and Bette Midler. I get the offer, six weeks work, I'm playing Bruce Cutler, [Phil Spector's] lawyer, and they said 'forty thousand dollars.'" The Modern Family actor went on to state that he ultimately turned down the offer due to the 'low' pay. Lowe agreed with O'Neill's decision, stating that the actor was right to recognise that he was being manipulated. Lowe said: 'You know why it happens? It's because they know that at the end of the day we love good material. They will use that to exploit us. And that's - excuse me - bullshit.' It's another world, isn't it dear blog reader?

Christina Hendricks has insisted that her Mad Men character Joan Holloway was not originally written with so much sex appeal. In an interview with Parade magazine, the actress credited the show's fans with helping Joan evolve into the strong presence that she now embodies and for 'drawing attention' to her more alluring traits. 'When we did the pilot, that was not something that we discussed as a trait for Joan. This is something that's developed as a combination of the costuming on the show, the hair and makeup, my portrayal of the role, and Matt's writing,' Hendricks recalled. 'It all kind of came together and that became much more of a focus later. It was just something the audience brought attention to.' However, Hendricks - who was recently forced to defend her shapely figure - confessed that she wants to be known for more than her looks. 'I just have so many other things that I'm excited about. I'm really passionate about my acting and my career and the movies I've been working on,' she said.

The BBC plans to leave 'no stone unturned' in seeking a buyer for Television Centre, which could attract offers in excess of three hundred million smackers, but will hold off on a sale if bidders fail to meet its target price. Confirming plans for the sale this week, the corporation said options for the West London site following the sale of the fifty one-year-old premises include housing, a 'hub for creative business' and even a BBC museum. The BBC is looking at either an outright sale or partnership opportunities, to redevelop the site as part of a commitment to cut its property holdings by thirty per cent. Parts of TV Centre have Grade Two listed status, which will complicate any deal. As well as potentially raising three hundred million from selling TV Centre, the BBC forecasts that it will save twenty million quid a year by relocating the five thousand staff based there to other premises. On a conference call with journalists on Monday, the BBC did not deny speculation that the site could be inventively redeveloped as a hub for other media and technology companies such as ITV and Google, or perhaps some sort of BBC-linked visitor site. 'No stone will be left unturned,' said Chris Kane, head of BBC Workplace. 'We will seek interest from all possible quarters. There is potential to leverage the iconic nature of the site. It is about looking at the future use of the building and a whole raft of options. [We have had] lots of interesting suggestions from a range of parties. The question is whether they are financially viable and if the ultimate purchaser wants to take them on.' Last year, the BBC's in-house magazine Ariel reported that the partially listed landmark 'could form the centrepiece of a community of media organisations, performing arts groups, facility providers and even fashion houses.' This week's press release re-iterated that 'apart from a conventional sale, the Corporation is keen to investigate opportunities for redeveloping Television Centre that preserve the key listed elements of the iconic building, but also afford the opportunity to establish a hub for creative businesses and a visitor destination.'

As BBC North bids farewell to its Manchester studios to move into its new home in Salford, Tess Daly is to host a special programme for BBC1 North West which takes a nostalgic look back at some of the classic television programmes that have come out of Oxford Road over the last thirty five years. Tess is joined for Auntie's Northern Soul by a host of stars as they recall their favourite TV moments and celebrate the distinctly Northern flavour of shows ranging from very first Top Of The Pops and It's A Knockout to Dragons' Den and A Question Of Sport. In 1973 the BBC decided to build new studios on Oxford Road in Manchester. The Prime Minister James Callaghan opened New Broadcasting House on 18 June 1976. The BBC believe that some of the most innovative TV shows of the last three decades have been produced here. Even before the opening of the studios at Oxford Road, Top Of The Pops began life in Manchester. Sir Jimmy Savile remembers the beginnings of the iconic show which for the first three years was filmed at the Dickenson Road Studios, a converted church in Rusholme. It was here that The Supremes made their British television debut. It's A Knockout was also broadcast from Manchester before the BBC moved into Oxford Road. Presenter Stuart Hall, who describes It's A Knockout as 'the Olympic Games with custard pies,' reminisces about the early days. He recalls the quick work of the set and costume designers. Other stars, including Stuart Maconie, Debbie McGee and Juliet Morris give their take on the show's huge impact as they remember the giant costumes, the infamous Penguin Game and Stuart Hall's infectious laugh. And, Eddie Waring trying to pronounce the word 'marathon' correctly. Some of the nation's best-loved comedians started out in the North West, from Peter Kay to Johnny Vegas, John Bishop to Steve Coogan. Caroline Aherne used to be a secretary at BBC Manchester, but her hidden talents came to the fore with the role of spoof chat show hostess Mrs Merton. The Mrs Merton Show ran on BBC2 from 1995 and the first guest was Debbie McGee, wife of magician Paul Daniels. McGee recalls the moment when she was disarmed by Mrs Merton's opening question: 'What ever first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?' Some of the programmes made in Manchester have revolutionised the way television is made. In 1987, Janet Street Porter moved from Channel Four to the BBC in Manchester. She was tasked with revamping BBC2 to appeal to sixteen to twenty four year olds. She talks about how she wanted everything to look radically different to the way programmes had been made before when she created the programming strand DEF II, including Reportage and Rough Guide. BBC Manchester is home to some of the most popular long-running entertainment programmes on TV. Last year A Question Of Sport celebrated its fortieth anniversary. Mastermind was brought back to our screens in 2003 when it was revived by the entertainment team in Manchester. John Humphrys recalls how when he was approached to host the show, he thought the producers were asking him to be a contender, an offer he was sure he didn't want to take up. Of the Mastermind contenders, he says: 'However experienced at quizzes they are and however clever they are, you know they're scared!' Stuart Maconie is one broadcaster who has experienced that terrifying walk to the black chair first hand, when he appeared on Celebrity Mastermind. 'When he says our next contender please, you feel a band of steel around your stomach,' he says. BBC Manchester has also been home to the production team behind Songs Of Praise which this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. Aled Jones talks about his own childhood memories of the series which has had such long-lasting appeal. Tess Daly takes a look behind the scenes of The Body Farm, the new crime series currently being filmed at the Oxford Road studios. She looks back at other North West dramas including Life On Mars, Accused and The Street. Salford-born actor Christopher Eccleston gives his take on why the North West has produced so many great dramas. 'We all think we're comedians don't we?' he says. 'There's a great love of language in and around Manchester and Liverpool pubs. A great joy in language and a great joy in storytelling, in conversation, in the sense of a community and I think writers have tapped into that and brought it to a national audience.' As Auntie's Northern Soul celebrates the classic television shows made in the North West, it is clear that the BBC has come a long way since its days of studios in converted churches.

Salman Rushdie has revealed details of his new television project. The Satanic Verses author is writing a show called The Next Series for Showtime. The project, which was announced in March, is currently at the pilot stage. Rushdie has now told the Observer that the series will focus on how modern life is changing. 'It's a sort of paranoid science-fiction series, people disappearing and being replaced by other people,' he said. 'It's not exactly sci-fi, in that there's not an awful lot of science behind it, but there are certainly elements which are not naturalistic.' Rushdie, who claimed that the show has 'an almost feature film budget,' also revealed that he enjoyed writing for television. 'It's like the best of both worlds,' he said. 'You can work in movie-style productions, but have proper control. In the movies the writer is just the servant, the employee. In television, the sixty-minute series, The Wire and Mad Men and so on, the writer is the primary creative artist. You have control in the way that you never have in the cinema.'

Richard Desmond's Daily Express to Channel Five media group tripled pre-tax profits after a tough 2009 to just over thirty million pounds, helped by a rapid recovery at the broadcaster, which shows CSI and from this summer will also show Big Brother. Desmond bought Channel Five in the summer for just over ninety nine million pounds, according to the accounts, and immediately instituted a wide-ranging restructuring that saw almost all the senior personnel leave at a cost of eleven million smackers. The cutbacks, coupled with an unexpectedly buoyant Christmas advertising market, meant that the broadcaster of Neighbours traded with underlying operating profits from September. Channel Five, it is understood, has accounted for half the profit growth seen at Desmond's businesses. Its proprietor, according to the Gruniad Morning Star, 'believes the channel was poorly managed under previous boss Dawn Airey, who worked for RTL.' It also accounted for the growth in his company's turnover. This summer Channel Five will broadcast Celebrity Big Brother, followed almost immediately by the traditional variant for unknown desperate wannabes as Desmond tries to steal audience share from an under-pressure Channel Four. Desmond's Daily Lies has talked up the possibility of Cheryl Cole hosting the show with people such as Lord Sugar appearing - but most the names cited by the alleged newspaper, including Cole and Sugar, have either said they are not interested or that they have never been approached in the first place. The proprietor is not taking a dividend from the company, which he owns outright and which dates back to his early days as a publisher of pornographic and other magazines. Nor, a spokesman said, is he taking a large personal pension contribution. In the middle of the last decade he paid himself roughly fifty million quid in some years when profits were high. With only summary accounts available over the weekend, it was impossible to gauge the performance of his Express and Lies titles, or OK! magazine – whose US edition has been consuming cash, although the growth from Five implies it was a challenging year at the print division. The company did indicate that price cutting – a strategy that has seen the Daily Lies go as low as twenty pence – had cost it forty three million pounds in revenue. Desmond continues to toy with the idea of selling the newspapers, with Barclays Capital notionally looking for buyers, in the hope of achieving a valuation of somewhere close to five hundred million smackers. The titles are for sale if somebody 'offers a crazy price' but one rival publisher said they believed the papers were worth about one hundred million pounds and that consideration needed to be given to the position of the title's pension fund. The owner expects to move printing of the titles to a new facility near Luton at the end of this year, although while the proprietor has also applied for permission to build offices on the site, he has said in private these are not for the journalists. Moving to Luton will also release a valuable land bank at West Ferry in London's Docklands, which is expected to be developed or sold.

A mother and daughter who admitted leaving the body of an elderly relative unburied for up to six months while one of them cashed her pension have been told they face jail. The body of Olive Maddock, ninety five, was left in the bedroom of her home in Merseyside by her daughter, Olive Hazel Maddock, sixty one, and granddaughter Jasmine, thirty five. Olive Hazel Maddock, a television extra known as Hazel, who has worked on Brookside and Hollyoaks, admitted unlawful prevention of burial when she appeared at Liverpool crown court on Tuesday. She also pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining one payment of her dead mother's state pension of £176.92 and a single payment of pension credit of £34.44. Jasmine, an artist, pleaded guilty to leaving the corpse of her grandmother unburied. In August 2010, police found Olive Maddock's remains in the house the three women shared in Wallasey after a neighbour raised concerns about her welfare. Her body was found slumped behind her bedroom door. Forensic examination did not provide an exact cause or date of death but it is thought she died of natural causes between two and six months before the police found her. Both women, who no longer live together or at the Wallasey residence they shared with the deceased, were granted bail on condition of residence to addresses shown to the court. Judge Gerald Clifton said his decision to grant bail bail should not be interpreted as a signal their sentences would be non-custodial.

For today's Keith Telly Topping 45(s) of the Day, I reckon it's getting a bit stuffy in here. What do you say, let's open a couple of doors?
Now, it's certainly true that Jim Morrison - bloated, drug-addled hairy wanker that he was - still managed to give plenty of people The Horn. Take these guys, for instance.

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