Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some Dizzy Whore (1804)

[spooks] will come to an end after ten seasons, it has been announced. Production company Kudos made the decision to end the popular espionage thriller rather than the BBC and promised that the drama will end 'in its prime,' with a focus on counter-terrorism chief Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth). Jane Featherstone of Kudos told the Gruniad: 'I feel very sad about it. It was a very difficult decision to make. But we didn't want to get to the point where the BBC said, "We don't really want another one," we wanted to kill it off in its prime.' Featherstone added that she feels Pearce and his colleague Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker) are 'the heart of the show.' She also promised that their story would have 'a natural end.' Ben Stephenson, commissioning controller for BBC Drama, said: 'Kudos created a groundbreaking series in [spooks] ten years ago that challenged convention with its topical, fast-paced, contemporary style. I hope fans will tune in this September to see what promises to be a fittingly high-octane, thrilling finale.'

Eve Myles has revealed that shooting Torchwood: Miracle Day was one of the most exhausting experiences of her life. The Welsh actress admitted that it was difficult to stay in top shape for Torchwood's demanding production schedule. 'I'm a broken woman by the end of it, like a wimp,' Myles told Speakeasy. "Before doing Torchwood, especially this year, I will train three hours a day, four days a week so not to lose weight or change shape or how I look. And to make sure I have the stamina to play Gwen Cooper and not to get any injuries. Because if I get injured, nobody cares. I'll still have to come in the next day and run for six hours with a broken leg.' Myles also suggested that Torchwood fans should be ready for surprises as the series nears its conclusion. 'It just goes crazy the closer you get to finding out what's going on. You will not be able to breathe,' she hinted. The actress continued: 'That's what Russell does. [You think] "I see exactly where this is going, it's so simple." He will then drop you like a ton of bricks and start going in the other direction. This series is about expecting the unexpected!'

This Morning executive Karl Newton has been brought in to oversee Daybreak's transition to ITV Studios. Newton is being backed to take over the show full-time following his success on This Morning since 2009, according to Broadcast. His time on This Morning has included the launch of special weekend editions and an extension of the show's summer run. Newton will be working with ITVS daytime and lifestyle creative director Fiona Keenaghan, offering his advice to the rest of the Daybreak team. Like, you know, 'Christine, try looking a touch less orange tomorrow.' That sort of thing. It is believed that Newton has a 'populist touch,' which can revive the breakfast show's woeful fortunes. Daybreak has spectacularly - and, very amusingly - underperformed in the ratings and has failed to match its predecessor GMTV since its launch.

Two more actors have signed up for roles in the second season of Game of Thrones. The excellent Welsh character actor Robert Pugh (so good recently in The Shadow Line) will play Caster in the HBO fantasy drama's next run, according to Entertainment Weekly. A duplicitous Wildling who lives North of the Wall, Craster is also the keeper of Gilly (Hannah Murray). Pugh has also appeared in episodes of Doctor Who, Prime Suspect, The Virgin Queen and, memorably, Torchwood. Michael McElhatton has also joined Game of Thrones as Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort. Known as the 'Leech Lord', the character of Bolton is said to be cold, calculating and cruel. McElhatton, who recently appeared in an episode of detective drama Zen, has starred in such films as 2003's Intermission and 2008's Fifty Dead Men Walking. Roy Dotrice, Gemma Whelan, Tom Wlaschiha, Carice van Houten, Stephen Dillane, Be Crompton and Natalie Dormer are among the other actors to have signed up for the new season of Game of Thrones.

Merlin star Bradley James has revealed new details about the upcoming fourth series. The actor told The TV Addict website that his character Arthur will be 'very much at the helm' of Camelot in future episodes. 'Uther's kind of sat in the corner, screaming to himself and people aren't as ready to take orders from a madman,' explained James. 'Arthur has found himself in that position where he's having to take responsibility for the kingdom.' James also admitted that he is looking forward to the reunion between Arthur and Morgana (Katie McGrath), after the latter's wicked intentions were revealed at the end of series three. 'That could go in any direction,' he hinted. 'For Arthur, you could probably ask the question, "Does he still have that soft sport for her?", or has he just instantly turned and become anti-Morgana?'

The police admitted they got their riot tactics wrong, the prime minister has said, as he announced measures to help homeowners and businesses. David Cameron told MPs the riots in cities across England were 'criminality pure and simple,' but there were 'far too few police' on the streets. He announced a crackdown on face masks and a review of curfews during an emergency recall of Parliament. More than fifteen hundred arrests have been made since the unrest began on Saturday. Cameron told MPs that it had become clear there had been problems in the initial police response to the disorder. Former Cabinet minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind also raised concerns that officers were instructed to 'stand and observe looting.' Mr Cameron told MPs: 'There were simply far too few police deployed on to our streets and the tactics they were using weren't working. Police chiefs have been frank with me about why this happened. Initially the police treated the situation too much as a public order issue - rather than essentially one of crime. The truth is that the police have been facing a new and unique challenge with different people doing the same thing - basically looting - in different places all at the same time.' The prime minister promised he would do 'whatever it takes' to restore order to the streets as he set out a range of measures aimed at helping businesses and homeowners affected by the riots. In Birmingham, a vigil has been held for three men who died after being hit by a car while protecting property. A candle-lit vigil for Haroon Jahan, twenty one, Shahzad Ali, thirty, and Abdul Musavir, thirty one, was attended by some two hundred people, and was entirely peaceful. Harpreet Singh who helped to organise the vigil, told the crowd: 'Let this be a message to other communities, not just Muslims and Sikhs, let's stand together, let's hold candlelight vigils. People have been hurt, families have been hurt, if we don't stop this, and the people who are rioting do not stop this, there will be more people dying. It has to stop and we are standing here united.' Amid fears the deaths could spark inter-communal reprisals, the distraught father of Haroon Jahan made an emotional appeal to the community, revealing he had desperately tried to resuscitate his youngest son. Holding a photograph of his son, Tariq Jahan, said he was nearby and rushed to help. 'I ran towards the commotion and the first guy I found was someone I didn't know. I started giving him CPR until someone pointed out that the guy behind me was my son on the floor,' he said. 'So I started CPR on my own son, my face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood. Why? He was trying to help his community and he has been killed.' Describing his son, a mechanic and keen boxer, as 'a very well-liked kid,' he said: 'I can't describe to anybody what it feels like to lose a son. He was the youngest of three, and anything I ever wanted done, I would always ask Haroon to sort it out for me. A day from now, maybe two days from now, the whole world will forget and nobody will care.' In a message to the local community, he movingly implored: 'Today we stand here to plead with all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stand united. This is not a race issue. The family has received messages of sympathy and support from all parts of society.' Visibly emotional, Jahan added: 'I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.' Haroon, Shazad, and Abdul Musavir who ran a local carwash, were standing near the petrol station on Dudley Road when they were hit. Shazad, who had a degree in business management, had married in March and his wife is pregnant. The three were said to be protecting property after a Jet petrol station had been robbed the previous day. Cameron said the deaths were 'truly dreadful' and offered his condolences to the men's families. A thirty two-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of murder after the men were run over and killed. On Wednesday, Cameron said the 'fightback' was under way and said that 'every action' would be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannon to be available to police at twenty four hours' notice. It is the second time in less than a month that MPs have been recalled for an emergency session - the first was for the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World newspaper. Meanwhile, the Met Police have made a total of eight hundred and eighty eight arrests and charged three hundred and seventy one people in connection with violence, disorder and looting in the capital since Saturday night. More than three hundred people have been arrested in the West Midlands and a further one hundred people have been arrested so far over the trouble in Manchester and Salford. Courts sat through the night in London, Manchester and Solihull in the West Midlands to deal with people arrested during the four nights of disturbances, with those appearing in court mainly facing disorder and burglary charges. Cameron said that anyone convicted of violent disorder would be sent to prison. A deputation of Labour MPs from London went to the Home Office on Wednesday to demand a 'moratorium' on plans to reduce numbers in the Metropolitan Police. The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper said: 'It is staggering and utterly shameful if it has taken these appalling events for ministers to start waking up to what everyone else has known all along,' she said. 'Cutting sixteen thousand officers - the equivalent of every officer on the streets of London last night - at a time like this is deeply irresponsible.' London's mayor Boris Johnson also appeared to call for a rethink on police funding but senior government sources said that the Treasury will not reopen negotiations on the spending review. The home secretary, Theresa May, has repeated her belief that police budgets can be reduced without damaging their ability to do their jobs. During the Commons debate on Thursday, eighteen Labour MPs asked the PM about police cuts. Among the best-known were Jack Straw, Tom Watson, Chris Bryant, David Winnick and Pat McFadden. Not one Conservative did, or any Lib Dems. Only one other MP asked about the cuts: Plaid Cymru's Elfyn Llywd. At a press conference, Greater Manchester Police's Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said he had seen 'the most sickening scenes' of his career, and said the force had been overwhelmed. He said the force was 'absolutely intent' on bringing the rioters to justice and his officers were already studying CCTV. On Wednesday night hundreds of police in riot gear were deployed to Eltham, south-east London, where men were on the street for a second night as self-appointed 'protectors of the community.' Police briefly clashed on Eltham Hill with about two hundred men, some - though by no means all - chanting 'EDL', and bottles were thrown at the police. One local man, Jay Evans, told the Gruniad there were a number of English Defence League members present 'trying to jump on the bandwagon' but he said that they were 'an extremely small minority.'

Obscured for days by hoodies and bandanas, the true face of London's violent street riots began to come into focus on Wednesday as the capital's courts worked overtime to process more than eight hundred scallywags arrested thus far for riot-related offences. The picture that began to emerge cut across age, race and gender, ranging from teenagers to men and women in their twenties and thirties. Some were unemployed, some had legitimate jobs at supermarkets or schools. Some were accused of blagging jewelry and electronics items worth thousands of pounds, while others were said to have been stealing items that were 'practically worthless.' Some were arrested in stores carrying nothing at all and were, thus, charged with breaking and entering. At North London's Highbury Magistrates Court, the accused included an eleven-year-old boy wearing a 'smart blue Adidas tracksuit,' according to the Torygraph and accompanied by his mother. He was pinched by the bobbies whilst stealing a fifty pounds garbage can from Debenhams department store. He admitted the theft whilst charges of violent disorder were dropped. Sent to his local court for sentencing, the judge said to his clerk: 'Eleven is too young for a tag, isn't it? I can't even detain someone who's under twelve.' The boy's mother walked him down the road by the scruff of his neck, swearing angrily at members of the press. What a fine example of parents everywhere. There was also a thirty three-year-old man who allegedly half-inched a Sony laptop computer from a private home, a twenty eight-year-old woman accused of stealing six bottles of nail polish and a can of Jamaican vegetables from an East London convenience store and a twenty two-year-old and a nineteen-year-old caught together by the police in South London with a one fifteen hundred pound hoard of power tools. Altogether, the defendants contributed to a widely held view among those who've witness the riots and looting from afar: That many of those arrested were acting entirely opportunistically, taking advantage the unrest which arose in London after an initial Saturday-night uprising sparked copycat riots. Other London courts are due to process people accused of more violent crimes, such as arson and assault. There have been 'chaotic' scenes in magistrates' courts as hundreds of people are standing to face the music relating to looting and violence in cities across the country. Courts in London have been working through the night in order to process the unprecedented number of people. However, solicitor Julian Young told Sky News that the process was 'a knee-jerk reaction' to the trouble and not properly planned. 'Lawyers were waiting hours for papers and then couldn't find their clients. Cases were delayed as we waited for files to be photocopied then the photocopier broke down, it was chaos. We need the courts to give justice to people rather than being bounced into a situation where they have to plead guilty or not guilty in a short space of time.' Proceedings were also taking place in Westminster, Birmingham and Manchester. As one lawyer said to the Daily Torygraph, these defendants might have been the second wave of looters: 'too old, slow or stupid to avoid getting caught.' Those who have appeared so far have come from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. They include that eleven year-old scallywag mentioned earlier, a millionaire's daughter, a teaching assistant and a lifeguard. For example, Natasha Reed, an aspiring social worker from Edmonton, admitted stealing a JVC television worth £299.99 from a Comet store on Saturday night. Sky reporter Nick Martin, at Westminster Magistrates Court, said that the twenty four-year-old held her head in her hands as she sat in the dock after having handed herself in on Wednesday. Defending Andre Billington said: 'She was arrested. She said she couldn't sleep thinking about what she had done.' Sky's Lia Hervey described the judge at Croydon Magistrates Court on Wednesday as being extremely unforgiving, denying most defendants bail in favour remaining in custody or being electronically tagged. Laura Johnson, nineteen, appeared at Bexleyheath Magistrates Court charged in connection with the theft of five thousand smackers-worth of goods from that same Comet store in a retail park in Charlton. Johnson, an English and Italian student at the University of Exeter, is the daughter of the successful businessman Robert Johnson, a director of a several high-profile companies who owns a large detached farmhouse in Orpington. Johnson pleaded not guilty to five counts of burglary and is one of the lucky few to have been granted bail, but conditions of her release include wearing an electronic tag and not entering London. Two alleged accomplices who were in the car with her were not so lucky. A seventeen-year-old and eighteen-year-old were denied bail by Camberwell Green magistrates court. Johnson was bailed to return to court on 21 September to face the music. Aaron Mulholland, a thirty-year-old lifeguard at a health club, wept as his lawyer told the court his client had 'learned his lesson' after a night in the cells. A large number of those appearing had no previous convictions, including a fourteen-year-old girl - who cannot be named - charged with stealing cameras from Argos. A seventeen-year-old who was said to be an 'aspiring dancer' handed herself in to police after seeing her picture in a newspaper. She was among the defendants at a busy Westminster Magistrates' Court. She anxiously chewed her nails as the judge made arrangements for her to appear at a youth court next week. An estate agent and students studying accountancy, journalism and engineering faced the district judge on charges arising from the riots. The fate of an eighteen-year-old man who bought sports clothes which had been stolen from JD Sports in Clapham illustrated how seriously these offenders were being treated. Ordinarily punished by a fine or community service, he was remanded in custody to face the heavier prison sentences of the crown court. 'Given the seriousness of the circumstances' was the repeated refrain of the judge as she refused bail and sent each defendant to the crown court. Saffron Armstrong tried to explain that he had gone into a looted computer store because he was inquisitive - and a freelance journalist. This drew sniggers from the press bench, but not from district judge Elizabeth Roscoe, who told him he faced a prison sentence. The twenty two-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary after being by arrested in a PC World store in Colliers Wood the day after it was hit by looters. The accounting student from Mitcham, who also worked for Marks and Spencer, was remorseful and admitted his intentions had 'not been for the best.' Alexis Bailey, a thirty one-year-old teaching assistant at Stockwell primary school in South London, was arrested in a Richer Sounds store in Croydon late Monday night. He was released on conditional bail after pleading guilty to burglary with intent to steal. Most have so far pleaded guilty admitting that thefts were 'opportunistic' and a case of 'getting caught up' in the disorder. He arrived at court trying to hide his face from photographers with a copy of the Metro newspaper and, according to the Gruniad, in doing so he walked into a lamp-post. It really wasn't a very good day all round for Alexis. A twenty three-year-old scaffolder also broke down into tears after admitting taking part in the looting in Hackney. Christopher Heart, a father of two, of Hurst Road, Chingford, was found 'wearing a pair of brand new Lacoste trainers and a bodywarmer with the security tag still attached' at about 11pm on Monday. He pleaded guilty to entering JD Sports in Mare Street with intent to steal and was bailed under curfew for sentencing at Wood Green crown court. A Hackney teenager who was found with bundles of scratch cards, a bottle of Southern Comfort and ninety pounds in cash during Monday's violent looting in the area denied receiving stolen goods at Highbury Corner magistrates' court. Adam Ozdas, nineteen, who lives in Hindrey Street, near Clarence Street where some of the worst rioting took place, claimed that he found the scratch cards and was planning to hand them into police. He said that the other items were his own. He was bailed under curfew to return on 23 September. Unemployed David Benjamin, twenty five from Hammersmith, was accused of looting a Blu Ray player from Seba Electronics in West Ealing. Matthew Golby, prosecuting, told the court Benjamin was part of a group of approximately fifty people who looted around two hundred thousand pounds worth of goods from the store. Judge Ikram refused bail and adjourned the case until 17 August. A woman with ninety six previous convictions for theft pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol, cigarettes and mobile phone accessories which had been looted during riots in Manchester. Linda Boyd was one of a series of defendants who appeared before Manchester magistrates court, which sat late into the night on Wednesday. The court heard that she was drunk and had found an orange bin liner filled with the stolen goods in Manchester city centre, and began dragging it away, intending to share it with friends. Her case was adjourned to 16 August, when she will be sentenced at Manchester crown court. Boyd stalked from the glass-walled dock telling the district judge who presided over the magistrates' court to: 'Go away, shut up.' At Nottingham magistrates court an eleven-year-old girl from Nottinghamshire pleaded guilty to criminal damage and attempted criminal damage during Tuesday night's riots. The girl, who cannot be named because of her age, admitted smashing the window of a clothes shop in the city centre and throwing stones. She received a nine-month referral order, which involves a youth offenders panel drawn from the community coming up with a non-jail penalty. The judge, Maurice Cooper, said the sentence of nine months was 'longer than normally given for breaking windows' but reflected the seriousness of other events that occurred in the city that night. The girl, due to begin secondary school next term, had been in McDonalds when a group of 'thirty or forty boys walked past.' She decided to join them saying in court that 'everyone was egging me on.' In court her father said that his daughter was 'easily led on.' He had urged her to apologise in court and her solicitor said that she wanted to plead guilty to acknowledge wrongdoing. She had previously been cautioned for criminal damage last year. Solihull magistrates sent twenty people to prison in an all-night session. They included a man who stole three and a half grand's worth of cigarettes and another who stole five thousand smackers worth of perfume. West Midlands police have arrested about three hundred and thirty people since disturbances started on Monday, including a fourteen-year-old girl from Wolverhampton who was frog-marched to a police station by her uncle who suspected her of coming home with stolen clothing. She was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of theft and remains in custody. Several cases were across the country referred to the Crown Court, which may well mean longer sentences for the perpetrators as magistrates can only hand out sentences a maximum of six months. At the Crown Court, riot and affray charges can carry a jail term of up to ten years stir. Scotland Yard also said on Thursday that it has arrested a twenty-year-old man on suspicion of robbery, in connection with the attack on the Malaysian student Ashraf Rossli, an incident which was caputred on film and which provoke much revulsion across the country. Rossli who was videoed being mugged by people as they - shamefully - pretended to help him in Barking, has been speaking to the media having been discharged from hospital earlier in the day. Showing immense dignity he said that he felt 'sorry' for those who had taken part and was sad that such young children were involved.

Of course, as you might thoroughly expect, in confusing, complex and frightening times, a whole heap of gobshites have started popping up apportioning blame and seeking easy solutions. To a broken and bankrupt society on its knees terrorised by an underclass of The Youth of Today - the gangstas, hoodies, radjys and chavs with their tripyy-hoppy housey-housey music, their baseball caps on backwards, their Alcopops and Bacardi Breezers and their almost cultlike worship of Cheryl Cole. Take the odious Melanie Phillips in (not predictably at all) the Daily Scum Mail suggesting this is all down to the 'liberal intelligentsia'. Paul Routledge in the Mirra has other ideas. 'The pernicious culture around rap music' is responsible. Apparently. Luke Turner at The Quietus website takes Routledge thoroughly to task - for being a plank, essentially - and argues, slightly more plausibly, that reality TV must take it share of the blame. In the Daily Torygraph, Allison Pearson - a writer this blogger has never been particularly a fan of - asks how we ended up 'with some of the most indisciplined and frighteningly moronic youngsters in Europe?' In a thoughtful and reasoned piece, she says parents must take responsibility: 'What our young people need is adults to stop abdicating authority. They need police to police, teachers to teach, parents to parent, politicians and clergy to give moral leadership, and, above all, they need more people like Pauline Pearce, the jazz-singing Jamaican grandmother who fearlessly took on rioters and saved a white man from the mob.' The New York Times carries a piece by London-based sociologists Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen. Under the headline Cameron's Broken Windows, they draw parallels between government cuts here and calls to slash the state. 'Britain's current crisis should cause us to reflect on the fact that a smaller government can actually increase communal fear and diminish our quality of life. Is that a fate America wishes upon itself?' Meanwhile, on Facebook, there's a page which celebrates No rioting in Newcastle in case Hufty gives you a Byker teacake. Gan canny.

Meanwhile, parochial mouthpiece Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, has complained about broadcasters headlining coverage of urban unrest as 'UK riots.' Salmond said he was not complacent but claimed Scottish society was 'different' from that in England, and that similar riots were much less likely in Scotland. By referring to the riots as being UK-wide, he said, the risk was increased of copycat riots in Scotland and damage to Scotland's reputation as a tourism destination. Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, he said: 'We know we have a different society in Scotland, and one of my frustrations was to see this being described on BBC television and Sky as riots in the UK. Well, until such time as we do have a riot in Scotland, then we've seen riots in London and across English cities. It's actually unhelpful to see them inaccurately presented, because one of the dangers we face in Scotland is copycat action.' Just for the record, dear blog reader, visiting Sunderland fans in Edinburgh for a friendly match on Saturday against Hibernian, were violently attacked by local youths both before and after the game. There were eight arrests and two people treated for a broken rib and head injuries. Yeah, that sounds like a haven of peace and tranquility.

As cities including Manchester and Birmingham became embroiled in the fourth night of riots to hit the UK on Tuesday, news-hungry viewers provided record audiences for Sky News and BBC News. The BBC News Channel attracted a daily audience of 13.1 million, easily beating Monday's previous record audience of 8.8 million. The daily audience figure is based on fifteen-minute reach – the number of viewers who tuned to the channel for at least a quarter of an hour during the day. The BBC News Channel audience peaked at 2.6 million between 8.45pm and 9pm. Sky News also easily topped its record-setting Monday fifteen-minute daily reach figure, with 9.28 million on Tuesday. The previous day it had a daily reach of 6.81 million viewers, the biggest daily audience figure since its Iraq war coverage in 2003. It is the biggest audience Sky News has attracted since it started recording viewer levels in 2001, also easily surpassing the five million that tuned in during coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. BBC1's 10pm bulletin attracted 7.6 million viewers – up half a million viewers on the previous night – a thirty three per cent share. The bulletin peaked in its opening quarter hour with 8.1 million, well ahead of its normal audience of about five million. The channel's 6pm news also did well attracting 5.3 million – also up five hundred thousand viewers over Monday night – against a normal level of between three and four million. Viewing built as the BBC1 bulletin gave way to the 6.30pm regional news programmes from around the country, peaking at 6.4 million in the first fifteen minutes. News at Ten on ITV attracted 2.9 million viewers – up eight hundred thousand on Monday. The BBC's news website also went one better than Monday night recording its biggest-ever day in terms of UK audience with 8.1 million unique users. Globally it was the second biggest day ever with thirteen million users, beaten only by the 15.9 million who visited on the day of the Japanese earthquake.

The BBC and ITN have responded to David Cameron's call for them to hand over unused TV footage of rioters by arguing that the proper procedure of the police obtaining a court order must be followed. Earlier on Thursday the prime minister told MPs that the media has 'a responsibility' to immediately release footage to help police track down and punish those responsible for four nights of rioting in cities across England. Liberal Democrat MP John Leach asked the prime minster during an emergency Commons session whether he would 'encourage media organisations to immediately release footage.' 'I will certainly do that,' Cameron responded. 'Everyone has a responsibility. Media organisations have a responsibility too, and I hope they will act on it.' Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 an order must be obtained from a judge to obtain unpublished material such as film and pictures. The judge is supposed to weigh the interest of the police in obtaining evidence with the public interest in a free press. ITN, which produces news programmes for ITV and Channel Four, said that despite the drive to swiftly identify looters the government cannot run roughshod over standard legal practice. 'We expect any request will come from the police,' said a spokeswoman for ITN. 'When that happens, we will deal with it as per our established practice for handing over unbroadcasted material.' A BBC spokeswoman added: 'We have standard processes in place to deal with requests from the police through our litigation department, regardless of the subject matter. Any request would need to be dealt with by the courts.' Fran Unsworth, the BBC's head of newsgathering, said on Wednesday that the corporation would not hand over any footage without a court order. 'It's a matter of principle for us, we don't just hand over our rushes [raw footage] to the police without them going through a proper process which is via the courts,' she said in an interview on BBC Radio 4's Media Show. 'It doesn't really matter what the nature of the offences are – if we went down that road of making judgments of the nature of the offences, that would compromise our editorial standards.' Unsworth was then asked whether the fact that the footage showed 'transparent criminality' of looting should change the BBC's position. 'It is a matter for a court to decide that, not for us to decide whether it is criminal or not,' she replied. 'If [the police] come up with a court order we will probably hand [footage] over because that's the process and then the courts will decide whether its criminal activity or not. But we are not in a position to prejudge that.'

The BBC's head of newsgathering has also admitted that the corporation should not have described the London rioters as 'protesters' after Saturday night, when a peaceful demonstration provided the initial spark for three days of escalating disturbances across the capital. The BBC was criticised on Tuesday for continually referring to the looters and rioters as 'protesters' – three days after the protest over the death of Mark Duggan in Tottenham. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Fran Unsworth conceded that its presenters should have dropped the term earlier. 'I think it was probably okay to use the term 'protesters' on Saturday when the whole incident started off in a peaceful protest in Tottenham,' Unsworth said. 'But since then I don't think we should have been using "protesters," clearly they are looters and rioters and that's how we should have been describing them.' Well, either that or 'scum.' Unsworth said: 'We try not to be too prescriptive, but yes we have said actually that they're not protesters they're clearly rioters and looters. They are more descriptive terms and we should try and be as accurately descriptive as we can be.' Unsworth confirmed that the BBC had received sixty two complaints from viewers on the language issue – but pointed out that fifty four of those only came after the issue was highlighted in the wholly impartial and unagendaised Daily Torygraph. A pond scum Torygraph leader on Tuesday claimed the BBC 'stupidly insisted' on calling the rioters 'protesters' when in actual fact they had done nothing even remotely like it. Mary Hockaday, the head of the BBC multimedia newsroom, rebutted that - moronic - claim in a post on the corporation's editors' blog on Wednesday. 'It's simply not true to suggest the BBC has portrayed these events as protests,' she said. 'Our role as with any story is to accurately reflect what is happening – from the original protest in Tottenham on Saturday night through to the subsequent riots and looting. We have clearly reported the riots, looting and mayhem of the past few days. The word "protest" or "protester" may have cropped up in live fluid coverage, as has been the case with other broadcasters, but none of our audiences to any platform can have been left in any doubt that we have been reporting riots and looting.'
A man, believed to be former News of the World news editor Greg Miskiw, has been released on bail after he was arrested in the phone-hacking probe. He was arrested by officers from the Met Police's hacking investigation, Operation Weeting, after visiting a police station by appointment. Police said Miskiw, sixty one, was held on suspicion of unlawful interception of communications and conspiring to intercept communications. He was released on bail until October. Operating Weeting is investigating claims that some reporters for the News of the World hacked into the messages of celebrities, public figures and the victims of crime and their families between 2002 and 2006. Scotland Yard has also confirmed that the Met's Head of Public Affairs, Dick Fedorcio, has been 'placed on a period of extended leave.' Fiasco will be 'working from home' while the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigates whether he has committed 'an act of gross misconduct.' A statement from Scotland Yard stressed that he had not been suspended and remained on full pay but added: 'To allow Mr Fedorcio to prepare for the IPCC investigation it has been agreed that he can work from home on a period of extended leave until the matter is resolved. Mr Fedorcio also accepts that it would be inappropriate for him to continue to come into the office whilst there was an ongoing investigation and until other staff had been interviewed.' Last month, the IPCC revealed that it had been asked to examine Fiasco's links to ex-News of the World executive Neil Wallis whose company was given a contract to provide PR advice to the Met in 2009. At that time Scotland Yard was resisting calls to re-open the inquiry into phone-hacking at the News of the World. In 2006, the paper's former royal editor, Clive Goodman, and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking into royal aides' voicemails. Five alleged victims have reached out-of-court settlements with the newspaper, including the celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who received a reported one million smackers. The paper was shut down in July after it emerged that the phone of murder victim Milly Dowler and the families of other victims of crime may have also been hacked.

James Murdoch is expected to clarify evidence he gave to a parliamentary select committee on phone hacking at the News of the World today, after claims that he misled the MPs. The News International chairman has until today to reply to questions asked by the Commons culture, media and sport select committee, following allegations from two former executives at the defunct Sunday tabloid that he was 'mistaken' in one of his statements. Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and ex-legal affairs executive Tom Crone claimed that Murdoch had misled the committee about a key e-mail suggesting that knowledge of phone hacking was more widespread at News International. Myler and Crone also have until today to send letters to the committee clarifying their statements. The letters, along with another from former News International head of legal affairs Jon Chapman, are - according to the Gruniad - expected to reignite the phone hacking scandal. Committee chairman John Whittingdale previously said that it was 'very possible' Murdoch would be asked to reappear after the submissions. Speaking to the Gruniad, a 'source' with knowledge of proceedings said: 'These letters are going to be dynamite.' The committee considers the matter so pressing that the MPs are returning from their holidays to hold a private meeting next Tuesday to discuss the new evidence. Murdoch had said that when he signed off a payment of almost seven hundred thousand quid to phone hacking victim Gordon Taylor, he did so 'without knowing all the facts.' But Myler and Crone have placed a big fat hovering question marks over this claim, suggesting that they did show him an e-mail, known as the 'for Neville' e-mail, which is said to have implied the News of the World's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, was also implicated in malpractices. despite this, from 2006 until January of this year News International continued to push the defence that no one employed by the company had hacked anyone's phone exact for one 'lone rogue reporter' and a freelance private investigator. Alongside his knowledge of the key e-mail, it is understood that Murdoch has been quizzed by MPs about payments made to Glenn Mulcaire. In a statement, Murdoch said that he 'stands by his testimony to the select committee' but today's letter is expected to provide evidence to back up this claim. Speaking last month, Whittingdale said that the committee regards the 'for Neville' e-mail as 'one of the most critical pieces of evidence in the whole inquiry.' He added: 'The areas where I'm particularly keen to get additional information is from Crone, Colin Myler and Jon Chapman, where they say the evidence we were given by James Murdoch was wrong. So what we've agreed to do is to ask them to give us those extra details. When we have received that response we may well wish to call them in and take oral evidence. On the basis of that I think it's very possible we will want to put those points to James Murdoch.'

A senior Republican has called for an inquiry into reports the White House fed secrets about the killing of Osama Bin Liner to Hollywood film-makers. Peter King, chair of the House of Representatives homeland security committee, cited a report suggesting the White House hopes the film will 'boost President Obama's election bid.' New York Times writer Maureen Dowd said film-makers had 'top-level access.' The White House called that report - and Mr King's claims - 'ridiculous.' Bin Liner, the al-Qaeda leader who had spent almost a decade in hiding since fleeing Afghanistan in late 2001, was killed in May during a raid into Pakistan by members of an elite Navy Seals special forces team. The killing of the man behind the 9/11 terror attacks marked the recent high point in Obama's presidency. Since then the president has been dogged by joblessness, a sluggish economy and partisan bickering and gridlock in Washington and has seen his approval rating slip. In the aftermath of the raid, senior US military officials decried media leaks of information to the news media, saying they 'jeopardised future operations.' On 6 August, New York Times columnist Dowd wrote that Sony Pictures had begun producing a movie about the Bin Liner raid by Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the Oscar-winning director and writer of The Hurt Locker, which portrayed a squad of US bomb-defusers in Iraq. 'The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history,' Dowd wrote, adding that the film would 'no doubt reflect the president's cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds.' Dowd said the film was due to be released in October 2012, 'perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.' In a letter to the inspectors general of the CIA and the Department of Defense, King, a New York Republican, asked officials to investigate the extent to which the White House, the CIA and Department of Defense discussed 'the advisability of providing Hollywood executives with access to covert military operators and clandestine CIA officers.' He also queried whether the film would be submitted for pre-screening and what steps the Obama administration had taken to ensure no operational secrets were revealed, along with other matters. 'The administration's first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government,' King wrote. On Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said suggestions the administration had provided secret information to the film-makers were 'ridiculous.' He said the White House press office makes an effort to ensure that news articles, documentary films and Hollywood productions about the president are accurate, and aims to accommodate film-makers who seek interviews with White House officials. 'We do not discuss classified information,' Carney said. 'And I would hope that as we face a continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.'

UKTV, the broadcaster behind pay-TV channels such as Dave, Watch and Good Food, has appointed ITV controller of digital channels Emma Tennant as its new controller. In her new role, Tennant will assume editorial leadership for UKTV's portfolio of ten channels and all related multiplatform activities. She previously oversaw ITV's digital channels ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4. UKTV - jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media - has been searching for a permanent controller ever since previous incumbent Matthew Littleford joined BBC Worldwide for the launch of the international version of BBC iPlayer. Tennant has a strong track record in acquisitions and commissioning, including responsibility for commissioning Martina Cole's Ladykillers, Matthew Kelly's Forensic Casebook, drama series Ladies of Letters and Youth Hosteling With Chris Eubank. UKTV chief executive Darren Childs said: 'Emma will be instrumental in leading UKTV through the evolution of its next creative challenge and I am delighted she will be joining the team. Her strong commercial success combined with enviable creative, editorial and leadership qualities make Emma the perfect appointment. UKTV is embarking on another renaissance following our phenomenally successful rebrand. We're Sky's largest HD provider; we are launching an exciting VOD service with Sky+ Anytime and Dynamo: Magician Impossible has been watched by 7.3 million individuals since premiere. Emma is the right commercial and creative leader to maximise the myriad of opportunities we have.' Tennant said of her move: 'I have had a wonderful time at ITV and am incredibly proud of the success the digital channels teams have had. However, I am very excited by this new challenge and to be joining UKTV at this pivotal time. The network continues to go from strength to strength as it maximises its enviable mix of BBC content, breakout commissions and third-party acquisitions.' Tennant started her career at Living TV, where she helped set up the channel's strategy and acquired hit shows such as CSI, Next Top Model and Will & Grace. She moved to ITV3 in October 2005, assuming the role of controller of ITV3 and CITV in 2007, before becoming controller of all ITV digital channels in 2009.

The second series of Geordie Shore may have to be filmed outside of Newcastle because of the cast's bad reputation, say reports. Tragedy. Charlotte-Letitia Crosby, Gaz Beadle, Holly Hagan and the rest of the cast were shown getting drunk, trashing their house, being sick on the floor and having sex during the first run earlier this year. Tabloid reports claim that producers are now 'struggling to find anywhere that will house the stars' and are 'concerned about the number of Newcastle clubs that have banned them from entering.' Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are potential new destinations, according to the Daily Lies. 'Geordies got upset that it gave them a bad name so folk aren't exactly welcoming them with open arms,' an alleged source allegedly said. 'Since the producers are having trouble finding anyone who will hire out their home to Gaz, Charlotte, James, Jay, Hollie, Greg, Vicky and Sophie, a move seems the only solution.'

Sarah Chalke has signed a new deal with Twentieth Century FOX Television. The contract means that the production company will begin to develop a new half-hour comedy project for the actress, Deadline reports. Chalke is due to begin meeting possible writers and the potential show is being lined up for next year. Fox Television's chairman Gary Newman explained that the studio had been 'determined to get' Chalke. 'She is incredibly talented as a comic force - she can do physical comedy and has great timing,' he said. 'She is incredibly castable. We hope that the project we develop for her goes, but if it doesn't, we will cast her in one of our other pilots.' Chalke recently starred in the CBS comedy Mad Love, but it was cancelled after one season. She is probably best known for her role as Elliot on Scrubs but has also appeared in shows such as How I Met Your Mother and Roseanne.

Channel Four has apologised for an 'unfortunate typo' in its Twitter coverage of David Cameron's Commons speech about the riots.
The tweet was swiftly deleted and a second message on the feed added: 'Apologies for that unfortunate typo earlier.'

Tulisa Contostavlos has reportedly spent twelve thousand pounds on dental treatment. According to the Sun, the N-Dubz singer felt that she needed the orthodontic work ahead of filming for Boot Camp on this year's X Factor. 'Tulisa has not got bad teeth by any stretch of the imagination. She's hardly Austin Powers,' a 'source' allegedly said. 'She had a few probs when she was younger but nothing serious. Since she became famous she has become aware they are not perfectly aligned, so she decided to pay for a bit of help.' Doesn't she get Cheryl or Dannii's old denture? They're not going to be needing them any time soon.

A man has accidentally shot himself in the penis with his fiancée's pink pistol. Joshua Seto was shopping at a grocery store in Chandler, Arizona with his partner Cara Christopher when the incident happened. The twenty seven-year-old man had tucked the pistol in the waistband of his trousers. The fired round passed through his penis and hit his left thigh, the Arizona Republic reports. Christopher rang 911 and 'applied pressure to the bleeding' (oh, is that what they call doing that these days?) until he was taken to the hospital for surgery. Seto is currently recovering in the hospital. Chandler police detective Seth Tyler hinted that Seto may face weapon charges, adding: 'The case agent is still determining that.' Tyler also warned: 'Whenever you handle a firearm, whether you are a novice or experienced, always treat firearms as though they are loaded. If you are going to carry a handgun on your person, use a holster, not your waistband.'

Jamie Bamber has signed up for a guest role on CSI: Miami. The Battlestar Galactica actor will play a storm chaser named Robbie, according to TV Guide. When a piece of his equipment is linked to a murder, Robbie will be questioned by Sgt Tripp (Rex Linn). Bamber played Apollo Adama on Battlestar Galactica from 2004 to 2009 and currently stars in Law & Order: UK. He also portrayed the lead character Caolan in NBC pilot Seventeenth Precinct but the project failed to receive a series pick-up.

Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad took four wickets apiece as England maintained their dominance over India on the opening day of the third Test at Edgbaston. Only an aggressive seventy seven from captain Mahendra Dhoni saved the tourists from total ignominy as they recovered from one hundred and eleven for seven to post two hundred and twenty four all out after losing the toss and being asked to bat. The total always looked below par on a good pitch, and Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were rarely troubled as they steered England to an imposing eight four without loss by the close. Cook survived a tight lbw appeal but recovered his poise to provide able support to Strauss, who struck ten fours on his way to his first half-century in nine Test innings. After resounding victories at Lord's and Trent Bridge, England have put themselves in a great position to secure the win they need to displace India from the top of the world Test rankings. In five innings in the series, India have yet to reach three hundred and once again England's seamers ripped apart a top order supposedly strengthened by the return from injury of first-choice openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Sehwag, billed as a potential game-changer for his ability to score quickly and heavily, went for a golden duck as he failed to get his hands out of the way of a rising delivery from Broad. Umpire Steve Davis failed to see the deflection but his not out verdict was overturned on review when the Hot Spot showed clear contact between glove and ball. Gambhir led a brief fightback, peppering the boundary rope with some elegant drives as India reached forty seven for one in the first hour. But just when the visitors looked to be taking control of the session, an inside edge off Bresnan cannoned onto the left-hander's off stump. Sachin Tendulkar, still seeking that elusive one hundredth international century, faced eight balls for one run before pushing hard at Broad and edging to James Anderson at third slip. And another one-sided session was complete when Bresnan fired a superb ball through Rahul Dravid's defences on the stroke of lunch. There was no let-up after the interval as Suresh Raina played around a full delivery from Anderson and VVS Laxman pulled a long-hop from Bresnan straight to fine leg. When Amit Mishra was caught behind for four, India were in deep trouble, but Dhoni launched into a savage counter-attack, reminiscent of Broad's when England rallied from one hundred and twenty four for eight to reach two hundred and twenty one on the opening day at Trent Bridge. Deciding to smash his way into form, Dhoni lofted deliveries from Anderson, Bresnan and Graeme Swann over the ropes as he and Praveen Kumar added eighty four in fourteen overs. The duo took India through to tea on a high, but the fun was over soon after the interval as Kumar took a swipe at a Bresnan short ball and was caught behind and Dhoni edged a fullish away-swinger from Broad. Anderson wrapped things up as Cook took a sharp catch at silly point to remove Ishant Sharma, before England's openers added to India's misery. On the second day, England took complete control as some woeful Indian bowling - and fielding - allowed Strauss and Cook to extend their partnership to one hundred and eighty six before Strauss, thirteen short of his century was surprisingly bowled. he was attempting an ambitious sweep against leg spinner Amit Mishra. England passed India's total with just one wicket down, Cook scoring his nineteeth test century in the process and adding a rapid sixty six with Ian Bell before the Warwickshire batsman was bowled by a very good delivery from the hard-working Praveen Kumar, just about the only Indian bowler to have much to boast about from a thoroughly shoddy performance in the field. There followed another century stand - this one in even time - before Kevin Pietersen, who had looked utterly imperious reaching in sixty three from just seventy eight balls (including nine fours and a towering six into the Edgbaston pavilion) was given out LBW to another nipper from Kumar. They finished the day on four hundred and fifty six for three with Cook still there on one hundred and eighty two not out and Eoin Morgan - dropped in the last over of the day by Rahul Dravid - on forty four. On Friday, Cook must be eyeing a potential double hundred on a ground where English batsmen often find their touch. Three of the Sky commentary team, Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd and David Gower managed to score double centuries there - Gower had two!) England added more than three hundred and seventy runs in the day for the loss of just three wickets.

German far-right nationalists were tricked at a recent festival after buying T-shirts with hidden messages. Festival-goers at the right-wing Rock for Germany concert were given the shirts with the slogan 'hardcore rebels' along with pictures of skulls and nationalist flags. However, when washed, a hidden message appeared offering on the shirts advice to quit the movement. 'If your T-shirt can do it, you can do it too - we'll help you get away from right-wing extremism,' the message reads after washing. Up to two hundred and fifty people were handed the shirts, provided anonymously by the group EXIT, who dedicate themselves to help those who want to break away from far-right activities. Gordon Richter of the far-right NPD party and festival organiser said: 'It's kind of pathetic that anyone spent money for something like that.' I don't think it's pathetic at all, you sick bonehead thug, I think it's rather sweet. Certainly more preferable to goosestepping around smashing people up because you don't agree with their worldview. EXIT founder Bernd Wagner responded: 'We wanted to raise awareness about our programme, especially among the young and less committed.'

And, on that positive note, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, I make no apologies for the fact that, yes, we're back with The Smiths again, dear blog reader.

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