Wednesday, June 01, 2011

They Say Eve Tempted Adam With An Apple, But I Ain't Goin' For That

A leading lawyer has said that failure to take action against a Twitter user who revealed details of people who have allegedly taken out so-called superinjunctions, in what is the biggest single defiance of the various gagging orders to date, will 'undermine faith in British justice.' Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: 'This is an apparent breach of a whole slew of court orders and I believe this is a cynical challenge to the court's authority.' Well, yeah, it is. So were all of the previous ones, what's your point, pal? 'I think it's important the court itself takes action to enforce its orders and failure to do so will undermine faith in British justice.' Which is, indeed, a valid argument. Course, the court has to catch the individual concerned first before there can be any 'enforcement.' The latest postings name footballers, actors, a sportsman and a comedian among fourteen people said to have gone to court at various times to keep their identities and their activities secret. Among the allegations are that a woman has been gagged from speaking to a newspaper about a lesbian affair which she had with an internationally famous singer. The messages also include claims about three different footballers' privates lives and that another sportsman had blocked speculation about an alleged affair. Whoever has put up the details is risking prosecution as they appeared just hours after the US-based Twitter caved in to a legal challenge in a Californian court from an English council and agreed to release the details of five account-holders to find an anonymous blogger whom they - the council, that is - want nabbed by the bobbies. The tweets first appeared at the weekend and, although they were briefly taken down, they subsequently reappeared and the user had over ten thousand followers by Wednesday afternoon. One allegation provides what the poster claims to be details of a TV presenter's alleged attempts to gag his ex-wife with whom he may, or may not, have had an affair with after he remarried. Another alleges that two actors in a TV show had an affair whilst working together and that producers sacked the female after the affair ended. An injunction obtained by a well-known married actor who is alleged to have slept with Helen Wood, the prostitute who previously had a threesome with Wayne Rooney, is also discussed at length. As is the allegation that the actor involved required Ms Wood to 'stick a dildo up' his back passage. There are also tweets involving a member of the Metropolitan Police being investigated over alleged serious sexual misconduct, a television personality having an injunction preventing the press from disclosing his - alleged - keen interest in BDSM sex, in which he - allegedly - regularly visits 'spanking establishments,' a child protection case and an alleged attempt by a wealthy financier to have his sister-in-law and her husband jailed. All, of course, still allegedly since no definitive 'proof' is provided in any of the posts. Twitter was first used to reveal the names of celebrities who had supposedly taken out injunctions earlier this month. At least one of those allegations, however, was untrue. The socialite Jemima Khan took to the microblogging site to deny having an affair with Jeremy Clarkson. It is believed that at least some of the latest postings also contain inaccuracies.

It is being reported on several - usually reliable - websites that the actor and writer Mark Gatiss will appear in the second half of the current season of Doctor Who. Reports suggest that Gatiss will guest-star in the second half of the season possibly in the season finale. Gatiss's appearance in the episode would be the second time that the actor has featured in Doctor Who. He previously appeared in the season three episode The Lazarus Experiment although he also had an uncredited role in last year's Victory of the Daleks which he wrote. His other writing credits on the series include The Unquiet Dead, The Idiots Lantern and a episode for the second half of the current series currently going under the working title What Are Little Boys Made Of? Along with Steven Moffat he co-created the critically acclaimed, award-winning Sherlock.

Torchwood creator Russell Davies has insisted that Wales will always be important to the show. The fourth season of the SF drama, a co-production between US cable network Starz and BBC Wales, filmed in both the US and the UK. Asked if the show could ever abandon Wales entirely, Davies told SFX: 'I would never want to. Whether I do any more [seasons of Torchwood] I don't know, because I think I've saved the world often enough. But, it's a BBC Wales production as well, It's part of its DNA.' He added that the show's Welsh setting will always serve as the 'building blocks' of the series. 'I would think if there was a new Series you'd start with something being dug up here [in Wales],' he Speculated. 'Something mysterious. Those are the building blocks, it would always work.' However, Davies admitted that the new ten-part season, Miracle Day, is 'about ninety five per cent [set in] America. We've got three weeks [in Wales] and we're shooting scenes from nine episodes,' he explained. 'I think episode seven is the [only] one that doesn't have any Welsh material at all.' The writer previously indicated that the US and UK elements of Torchwood: Miracle Day were 'written to clash.'

Simon Cowell was reportedly 'angered' by the 'mediocre acts' who have made it into the Britain's Got Talent live shows. Well, whose fault is that, exactly? You created the Goddamn monster in the first place, you towering egomaniac. The music mogul returned to the judging panel on Monday night after leaving Amanda Holden, Michael McIntyre and David Hasselhoff to carry out the nationwide auditions. However, after watching the first live semi-final, the Daily Lies claims an annoyed Cowell went 'on the warpath.' 'Cowell told everyone he felt the acts were very mediocre,' an alleged 'insider' allegedly told the alleged paper. One wonders if this 'inside' was the same one who gave them all that shite last year about Lady GaGa appearing in Doctor Who? Or, maybe this one isn't wholly fictitious. Miracles do happen. Allegedly. 'Had it not been for little Ronan Parke, he would have been tearing his hair out. No wonder he is going grey,' the alleged 'insider' said. 'He also claimed most of the acts' auditions were actually better than what they did on stage in the live shows.' The 'source' continued: 'The only thing he did like was the diversity because it wasn't just a show full of singers and dancers. He was in a foul mood though. The whole Cheryl [Cole] saga has come crashing down on him.' Shame.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Cole is reportedly 'cutting contact' with Cowell to ensure that she does not 'become his new Sinitta.' Cole is reported to ignoring Cowell's attempts at contacting her, according to the Sun. 'She was terrified Simon had become her puppet master and she was being turned into his new Sinitta - Simon's little pet,' Cole's mother, Joan, is quoted as telling 'a friend' by the newspaper. 'She is determined to carve out a career without him. He'll have to come up with something special for them to even speak again.' Asked on Twitter if she could advise Cole on 'how to hang on to Simon's coat tails for twenty years,' Sinitta replied: 'Anytime.'

Christopher Hooton's review of Geordie Shore in the Metro makes for interesting reading. 'At the weekend I defended Geordie Shore against the knee-jerk "this is filth" reactions in the media by describing the show as "high quality programming," then going on to explain all the reasons it actually appalled me. Sitting down to watch the second episode tonight I decided to follow up this highly contradictory piece with an equally hypocritical look at the exploitative nature of the show, lamenting the cruel premise of the programme while giggling with glee as another violently orange person on the TV makes a fool of themselves for my viewing pleasure. It seems production for Geordie Shore has been approached in a similar way to playing The Sims. MTV have taken a house and decorated it in slapdash fashion, kitting it out with a prefab kitchen and obligatory hot tub. They've put a host of oddly-proportioned humans inside who don't seem to know each other but chat away merrily in barely intelligible language. They've even added a set of Sim-like costumes for them to wear, with the inhabitants wearing such classy numbers as bare chest and a bow tie. So far no one has spontaneously wet themselves like in the game, but give it time. Of course the cast are responsible for their own actions and have all entered the grizzly Geordie Shore process of their own volition, but watching themselves back in these episodes must be proving about as enjoyable as exploratory bowel surgery.'

MTV, meanwhile, has defended the controversial reality show denying that it shows Newcastle in a bad light. The series, which began last week, follows the antics of eight 'party-loving friends as they drink, fight and chase the opposite sex.' Can't imagine why anyone would think that would show the location in a bad light. Kerry Taylor, MTV UK's director of TV, who should be sodding well ashamed of herself, frankly, told BBC Newcastle that the cast had 'some really admirable qualities that reflect really well on Newcastle.' Err ... no they don't, darlin'. I'm from there, you're not. 'We feel that visually we've made Newcastle look really good,' she added. Well, thanks for that. It's actually, visually, 'really good' anyway, we didn't need a TV show to help there. The programme has been criticised by Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, who said it was 'bordering on pornographic.' Which, as previously noted, it isn't - that's a stupid statement which has only conspired to give this wretched excuse for a TV show more publicity than it deserves. What it is, is bad. The local tourism board said that it relied on 'outdated stereotypes- - which is, broadly, true - and had provoked a 'fierce reaction' among locals. According to Ms Taylor, though, the show made Newcastle 'look like a really vibrant place with a fantastic social scene.' An astonishingly patronising and ignorant thing for anyone to say but particularly someone who is, how do we put this as delicately as possible? A silly little girl from down south. Yeah, that about covers it. 'The show has got some slightly outrageous pieces, and we're absolutely not trying to represent the North-East. [But] I do think the qualities that come across in the characters - their warmth, their sense of loyalty to each other and their sense of humour - are really admirable qualities and I think that's a really positive perspective on the North-East.' The cast members reflected 'many of the values of being a Geordie,' she added, saying the show had been successful because 'the stars were likeable.' The first episode, screened last week, saw cast members vomiting, stripping off in a hot tub and brawling in a nightclub. It achieved the channel's highest ratings for eight years, proving it was 'a show people are excited to see,' Taylor said. Some people, Kerry, some people. Some people vote BNP as well, it doesn't make it any less socially unacceptable. It provided 'a good opportunity for people to talk about Newcastle,' she went on. Yeah, again, I think that's one 'service' which MTV is providing which I think I can safely speak for at least one local (me) and say 'thanks, but no thanks.' The show, a British version of the hit US series Jersey Shore, was 'completely real' and not scripted, Taylor alleged. 'We're not making them do anything they don't want to do,' she stressed. That's slightly different from saying it's 'completely real,' however. After the first episode, Chi Onwurah told the Evening Chronicle the show was 'exploiting those young people and exploiting our city.' Onwurah said she would ask questions in the House of Commons about the issues raised by MTV's production.

Kate Silverton almost vomited during a live interview with David Walliams on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning. The presenter, who announced that she is pregnant with her first child last month, was discussing the comedian's new book project Mr Stink when she tried the scratch-and-sniff booklet. Using it, she exclaimed: 'Oh, that's exactly what I thought it would smell like,' before proceeding to gag loudly off camera. The noise prompted laughter from Silverton's co-host Bill Turnbull and Walliams, who said: 'It's not that bad!' Explaining what she had smelled, the forty-year-old said: 'That was two pairs of moldy socks, one dirty nappy, three rancid tins of tuna, some rotting carpet, an old cabbage and a small pile of cat poo. And that does actually smell like that - or is it just because I'm pregnant?' Apologising, she added: 'I'm sorry. It's just because my smells are obviously super-sensitive at the moment. I actually want to do it again.'

Former Law & Order actor Sam Waterston has reportedly joined the cast of Aaron Sorkin's new HBO pilot. The project, currently titled More As This Story Develops, will focus on cable news anchor Will McCallister (played by Jeff Daniels) and his team. Waterston has signed on to play McCallister's boss, according to TV Line. The actor is best known for playing Jack McCoy on NBC's Law & Order from 1994 until the show's cancellation in 2010. The actor also appeared in episodes of spin-off series Law & Order: SVU and Trial By Jury and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in 1984 film The Killing Fields. The Sorkin pilot will be filmed by Superbad director Greg Mottola and will also star Olivia Munn and Alison Pill. Emily Mortimer is also said to be in talks to play the female lead. The West Wing creator Sorkin recently revealed that he is 'loving the idea' of returning to television. He explained: 'I'm taking the same combination of idealism and romanticism and realism that made government sexy on The West Wing and seeing if we can't do the same with the news and journalism, which are held in at least as much contempt.'

Eliza Dushku is to make a guest appearance in the upcoming third season of White Collar. Series creator Jeff Eastin told The Hollywood Reporter that Dushku will play a 'sexy' character who causes tension between Neal (Matt Bomer) and Sara (Hilarie Burton). '[She appears at] a point where Neal and Sara have broken up,' Eastin explained. 'She ends up having a short fling with Neal.' Eastin added that the character will be introduced in the season's ninth episode and could reappear in the future. 'We did it in such a way that if it works out, we could bring her back,' he confirmed. Dushku's past television credits include the lead roles in Dollhouse and Tru Calling. She also played the recurring role of Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has made guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory and Ugly Betty.

According to Metro's The Green Room: 'Kym Marsh just won't let go of her fading pop career and claims she should be considered as the next X Factor host. "Look at my background," says the Coronation Street star and former Hear'Say singer. "Why not at least see me for the job?"' Well, Kim, it's just possibly because the producers of X Factor have looked at your background, and decided that you were a crap singer in a crap band and now you're a crap actress with, apparently, far to high an opinion of your own abilities. Possibly. Just a wild stab in the dark, you understand?

Halle Berry has signed up to star in a new cable television project, a report suggests. According to Deadline, a script for the pilot, titled Higher Learning, has been sent out to a number of cable networks, including HBO and Showtime. With Berry attached, the pilot is believed to be a hot property and a final decision on its future could come as early as this week. In recent years, Monster's Ball star Berry has focused on her film career and has not appeared on television since starring in 1999 television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Her last regular television role was in the thirteenth season of long-running CBS prime-time soap opera Knots Landing in 1991. The actress was recently forced to pull out of her Broadway debut due to an ongoing child-custody battle. The Higher Learning pilot has been written by Lee Rose, who previously served as executive producer on short-lived WB comedy-drama Related. She has also directed episodes of Greek, Haven and The Glades.

Cat Deeley has been announced as the host of the first ever Critics' Choice Television Awards. The So You Think You Can Dance presenter will front the inaugural event, which honours television across the past twelve months, at the Beverly Hills Hotel on 20 June. 'From So You Think You Can Dance to the Royal Wedding to the Critics' Choice Television Awards, the dazzling and talented Cat Deeley instantly puts our awards on the map, plus she ensures an entertaining and lively show,' said Joey Berlin, the - seemingly arse-licking - acting-president of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. The Critics' Choice Television Awards ceremony will be broadcast on ReelzChannel on 22 June. Nominations for the event have yet to be announced, although categories will incorporate shows across the comedy, drama and reality spectrums that aired between 1 June 2010 and 31 May 2011.

The 'pips' - BBC Radio 4's distinctive top-of-the-hour time signal - failed to broadcast on-air on Tuesday afternoon. Both primary and secondary systems failed at 5pm just before flagship drive time news show PM. Host Eddie Mair quizzed BBC broadcast engineer John-Paul Dunkley as to the whereabouts of the pips in a light-hearted interview later on the programme. Dunkley said: 'The box that creates the actual audio of the pips has died, unfortunately, in the basement in Broadcasting House. We do have a reserve [but] for some reason that has not been picked up. We think it could be a power supply problem with the primary failure, and [as for] the secondary failure we're not sure and we're still investigating.' The 'pips', which are formally known as the Greenwich Time Signal, were first introduced in 1924 and consist of five short tones and a longer tone. They are timed using an atomic clock and are broadcast on a number of the corporation's radio stations, notably BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. Mair joked: 'I'm feeling slightly panicked by this. Do we know if the "bongs" are okay, the Big Ben bongs?' Dunkley reassured the broadcaster that as the chimes are broadcast live via a microphone inside the tower, they should air as planned at 6pm and midnight. 'The worry must be that if Radio 4 keeps losing five seconds every hour, then by next Tuesday the midnight news will be on at six in the morning,' Mair added. Actually if it did keep losing five seconds every hour then in twenty four hours it would lose two minutes. Therefore, in seven days time the midnight news would be on at 11:46pm. Just, you know, for accuracy. The signal, however, was restored at 8pm yesterday evening. A technical error last year meant that Radio 4 listeners unexpectedly heard BBC 6Music at the start of an episode of serial drama The Archers.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has asked for another season of HBO show The Wire to be made. Oh, are we doing requests now? Can yer actual Keith Telly Topping have The West Wing series eight, please? Thanks in advance. Speaking with some of The Wire's cast members at the Justice Department, Holder explained that he was impressed by the quality of the programme. 'Having looked at those clips again, I'm reminded how great that series was,' the the Washington Examiner quotes him as saying. 'I want to speak directly to [executive producers] Mr [Ed] Burns and Mr [David] Simon, do another season of The Wire.' Holder continued: 'I want another season, or a movie. I have a lot of power!' Hang on, isn't that sort of thing against the law? Government officials, including Holder, are allegedly using episodes of The Wire to educate people about children who are caught up in drug crime. Last year, it emerged that John Hopkins University in Baltimore was offering a course based on the hit series. The Wire ended in 2008 after five seasons. Simon's new drama Treme, which also airs on HBO, was recently renewed for a third run.

EastEnders actress Natalie Cassidy's former partner Adam Cottrell has been warned he faces a possible jail sentence for two alcohol-fuelled attacks on her. Cottrell beat the actress, who played Sonia Jackson in the popular soap, on two separate occasions at their home in front of their eight-month-old daughter. Prosecutor Elaine McMillan said the thirty one-year-old smeared Miss Cassidy with mascara and hit her on the leg with a slipper following a row on 13 April. The actress left the couple's home to stay with her parents after another argument where he grabbed her by the arms and ripped her top on 20 May. Two days later she returned and asked Cottrell, whom she had been dating for two years, to leave. 'She describes him as smashing the place up. She asked a family member to go around to the house,' McMillan told East Hertfordshire magistrates' court. 'A microwave oven was broken, glasses and a candelabra were smashed. There was glass all over the kitchen floor.' The outburst caused three hundred and fifty pounds of damage to their home in to the house in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Couldn't have been a very expensive candelabra in that case. Cottrell, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of 'assault by beating' and one of criminal damage. He was warned by presiding magistrate Jackie Mountford that a custodial sentence was a possibility. She said: 'All options are open. It may be that the punishment may be met by a high level community order. We are not at all ruling out custody at this stage.' Cottrell was bailed to appear before the court again later this month and ordered not to contact the actress.

Angus Deayton is to star in a new BBC3 comedy about teenage parents.
Shooting has begun in Edinburgh on Pram Face, about eighteen-year-old who becomes pregnant after a drunken encounter at a party. The lead role of Laura will be played by Scarlett Alice Johnson, who played Vicki Fowler in EastEnders. Deayton will play her father, with Four Weddings And A Funeral's Anna Chancellor as her mother. Sean Verey, whose credits include The Bill and Casualty, plays the child's sixteen-year-old father. Much of the plot in the six-part series unfolds when Laura is at Edinburgh University, and some scenes will be shot in the city later this month.

Alexander Lebedev's ambition to position his cut-price national newspaper, i, as a 'quality daily' has taken a blow, after the advertising watchdog ruled that its claim it contained 'no celeb gossip nonsense' was misleading. The newspaper claimed that its celebrity stories differed from the gossip found in other titles because 'unlike other newspapers they [are] based on factual content and not hearsay.' However, the Advertising Standards Authority said that the advert must not appear again in its current form and told i that it was no longer allowed to make the claim 'no celeb gossip nonsense.' At least, unless it was prepared not to feature any. Lebedev's daily paper, a cut-down twenty pence version of the Independent, ran a multimillion-pound - and really very annoying indeed - TV campaign featuring a variety of middle class tossers (including Jemima Khan and Dom Joly) wittering on about how life-changing the i was in early 2011. The TV campaign was credited with helping boost i's circulation to just over one hundred and seventy five thousand in February, although it has reduced since then. The ASA received a complaint arguing that the claim in the TV advert that the title eschewed tabloid gossip culture was misleading. The advertisement in question stated that i 'squeezes the content of a quality paper into one that's small and beautifully informed.' It went on to claim that i does not cover tabloid-style stories, that it has 'no celeb gossip nonsense, just intelligent stuff.' Which, you may remember dear blog reader, this blog considered no so much inaccurate as 'unremittingly full-of-itself revelling in its own inherent intellectual snobbery of the great unwashed [and yet] still can't resist a bit of dumbing down of its own by using the horrible Twenty First Century media buzzwords "celeb" and "stuff."' However, the complainant claimed that the paper's daily Caught & Social section was 'dedicated to celebrity stories.' The publisher argued that i featured a 'cultural page that informed readers about worldwide arts events' and the 'famous people who attended them.' It said that the title's celebrity stories were 'based on factual content and not hearsay' and therefore were not gossip. i was backed by Clearcast, the body which vets TV commercials before they are made, which said that i 'concentrated on newsworthy stories without sidetracking readers to the kind of celebrity gossip published in red-top newspapers and celebrity magazines.' The celebrity stories i did report on were 'newsworthy' and 'of significant interest.' The ASA examined two March issues of i, which contained stories in the Caught & Social section such as Alex fancies a pop at 007, Cilla moves with the times and Dame Helen and Russell snog for fans. It said that these were content that 'readers would interpret as celebrity gossip' and therefore ruled that the TV advert was misleading.

The space shuttle Endeavour has brought its nineteen-year operational career to a close with a textbook landing in Florida. The vehicle swept into a night-time touch-down at the Kennedy Space Center after a successful trip to the International Space Station. The US space agency, NASA, is retiring its shuttle fleet and Endeavour will now be prepared for public display at a science museum in Los Angeles. Only the Atlantis ship has yet to make a final outing. It was moved to Kennedy's one active launch pad late on Tuesday night to get it ready for that swansong, which is expected to occur next month. 'It's sad to see her land for the last time, but she really has a great legacy,' Commander Mark Kelly radioed after the vehicle had come to a stop. The ship was the youngest member of the fleet, built as a replacement for the Challenger vessel which was destroyed on launch in 1986. Endeavour made its maiden flight on 7 May 1992. On completion of this twenty fifth and final mission, it has spent a cumulative two hundred and ninety nine days in orbit, travelling more than over one hundred and twenty million miles in the process. NASA is committed to ending its shuttle programme because the vehicles are too costly to maintain. The agency believes a more affordable approach to getting astronauts to the ISS can be achieved by contracting out their transport to private companies. The first of these commercial carriers is expected to enter service sometime in the middle of the decade. NASA will concentrate its efforts and resources on a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that can go beyond the space station to destinations such as asteroids. Endeavour spent just over eleven days attached to the ISS following its launch on 16 May. The ship, with its crew of six, had gone to the platform to install the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a seven-tonne detector designed to survey the blizzard of high-energy particles that are fired at Earth from all corners of the cosmos. Scientists hope that by characterising these cosmic rays, they can learn more about the origins and make-up of the Universe. Endeavour had also carried up a tray of critical spare parts for the ISS that included cooling, robotic and communications equipment. The four spacewalks conducted by Endeavour crewmembers Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff, to carry out routine maintenance on the exterior of the platform, were the last in shuttle history. And by flying on this mission, Fincke, a colonel in the United States Air Force, has broken the record for the most time spent in space by an American, bettering the three hundred and seventy seven-day mark set by Peggy Whitson. Much of the media focus on Endeavour's flight has centred on Mark Kelly. He stood down from the mission briefly in January when his wife, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head by a gunman at a constituency meeting outside a Tucson supermarket. She made sufficient progress in her rehabilitation to permit Kelly to re-join the mission, and was even present to see Endeavour's launch from Kennedy on 16 May.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been voted in for a fourth term in office. Which was, obviously a huge surprise since he was the only man on the ballot paper.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day we've got another one of them 'same riff/different song' type affairs. And, this one's a classic example of the genre. Starting with the Duke of Twang.
And ending with The Boss and the E-Street Band.

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