Thursday, August 18, 2011

Storm Is Threat'ning My Very Life Today

David Cameron has defended courts for handing out 'tough' sentences for those involved in the riots across England. Some MPs and campaigners have suggested that there were examples of some of the terms being handed out were far too harsh. Chris Bryant, for instance, notes that Cameron has backed severe sentences for various people involved in the recent riots. He tweeted: 'Would David Cameron think everyone should get "second chance" or just former editors of the News of the World?' Raymond Snoddy at Newsline had similar ideas: 'At last, the smoking gun that has been missing from the hacking affair: Perhaps the gung-ho magistrates currently jailing looters for stealing chewing gum should be told to moderate their anger. Quite a number of cells will have to be reserved to accommodate the miscreants of News International.' So far, more than two thousand seven hundred and seventy people have been arrested in connection with last week's riots. And fourteen have been arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandal. Some thirteen hundred people have now appeared before the courts, with the majority of charges relating to burglary, theft and handling, and violence and violent disorder offences. One person has been jailed for six months stealing water worth three pounds fifty pence (which, some might cosider a perfectly obscene amount to pay for a bottle of water). Meanwhile four MPs got jailed for stealing thousands in fiddled expenses and most of those were out inside six months. So, that all seems fair enough, doesn't it?

Right, who wants to see a sexy picture of sexy Karen Gillan from a forthcoming - sexy - episode of Doctor Who then?
Okay, you can all put your hands down now. Thanks.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony is moving from its traditional Sunday date and will be staged just three days before Christmas so that two of the favourites, golfers Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, can attend in person. The Northern Irishmen, popular winners of The Open and US Open titles respectively this summer, have busy schedules in December and are not due back from tournaments in Dubai and Thailand until 19 December. The move of the ceremony night to Thursday 22 December also means - as a bonus - that the show will not clash with ITV's X Factor final. A BBC spokesman said that an official announcement will not be made until early September but confirmed the change of date, adding that there were 'a number of factors' behind the switch, including the corporation's busy Christmas schedule.

Emmerdale attracts 'the lowest class audience' of any of the six major soaps broadcast in the UK, according to a survey by the Radio Times website. The rural Yorkshire-based ITV soap has the least number of 'upper or middle-class' viewers and the highest number of 'working-class viewers,' according to an analysis of consolidated viewing data between 1 May 2010 and 1 May 2011. More than forty four per cent of Emmerdale's audience are 'classed D or E by the NRS social grading system,' indicating that they are 'working class or those at the lowest levels of subsistence.' Horrid poor people, dole-y scum, and the sort of toerags most likely to take parts in riots in other words. Exactly the sort of underclass, in fact, that Mr Cameron, and lots of other nice chaps with shiny shoes would like to put in camps. Fewer than ten per cent of the programme's viewers are classified 'A or B' (upper middle class or middle class. People with nice teeth who knit their own muesli). The soap also has 'below average lower-middle-class and skilled working-class representation.' Less of a shock, Channel Four's Chester-based teenage soap, Hollyoaks, isn't far behind, attracting 'a measly 9.6 per cent' A and B viewers and an above average thirty nine per cent working-class audience. Chavs in hoodies and shell-suits, mostly, who binge-drink their alcopops and can't speak the Queen's English proper. Rather unexpectedly, it turns out the soap with the 'classiest' viewers is Channel Five's sun-kissed Australian favourite, Neighbours. A whopping twenty one per cent of the soap's audience are 'NRS rated A or B, meaning the programme stands out head and shoulders above its rivals in the class wars.' In addition, Neighbours returns 'the lowest number of D and E rated viewers,' with just thirty three per cent of its audience worthless scum or lower. However, it would appear that the chattering classes are not so committed to the second half of Channel Five's Aussie soap hour, because Home and Away is not blessed with anywhere near the same 'touch of class.' Only 10.8 per cent of its audience are middle class or above and 36.6 per cent of its viewers are working class or below. The BBC's flagship soap, EastEnders, is 'the second classiest,' attracting fourteen per cent A and B rated viewers, with only thirty five per cent in the lowest two categories. The Walford-based soap 'marginally outclasses' ITV's Coronation Street, which pulls in twelve and a half per cent A and B rated viewers and 'a slightly above average working-class audience' of thirty nine per cent.
So, there you go then, according to this, you're all scum.

Carlos Bernard has signed up to appear in the tenth season of CSI: Miami. The former 24 star will play a new nemesis for Horatio, according to TV Guide. A wealthy politician, Bernard's character will use his power and influence to protect his killer son from the law. 'He's kind of a Donald Trump meets the Kennedy family,' co-executive producer Barry O'Brien revealed. 'There will be a very high-octane relationship between the two. A hero is as heroic as his opposition is deadly, so we're really going to go there with this character.' O'Brien added that Horatio's 'fight for justice might just get compromised' by Bernard's villain. 'We're going to discover over the course of the season that [he] may be pulling a lot more strings politically than meets the eye,' he said. 'That will be a driving theme through season ten, that Horatio may not completely understand the evil that is facing him.' Bernard played Tony Almeida on 24 between 2001 and 2009. Since the show's conclusion, he has appeared in short-lived ABC series Scoundrels, an episode of Burn Notice and will play another villainous role in the new Charlie's Angels revamp.

Boris and Dave's alleged 'Bullingdon antics' have returned to haunt them in the wake of the recent riots, and Nick Clegg was not at all happy to be reminded of his own borderline criminal history by BBC Radio Nottingham recently. Asked whether, given a certain hot potato from his past, he felt empathy with the looters, the deputy prime minister became irritable: 'Of course I don't have empathy with people who break the law! I didn't do anything like that. I was not convicted, for heaven's sake!' As a teenage public schoolboy on exchange in Germany, Clegg reportedly consumed a healthy quantity of strong Bavarian lager at a party. Then, with a friend, he stole into a greenhouse containing many varieties of rare cacti, collected by the professor of botany to whom the garden belonged. The mischievous pair set fire to a selection of plants before running away. Their collars were quickly felt, but the prof was persuaded not to press charges, on condition that they dug flowerbeds as punishment. Clegg then spent the remainder of his summer visiting specialised garden centres with his mother, trying to find replacement cacti. 'Frankly,' said Clegg in 2009, 'we did behave appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally.' A custodial sentence seems in order, in that case. Unless you feel that, like Andy Coulson, he deserves 'a second chance.'

And, still on the subject of tense radio exchanges, Geoffrey Boycott has been known to get a little testy, as listeners to Radio 4's Test Match Special will be aware. But he and his fellow host Jonathan Agnew are, it seems, firm friends off air. Or so thinks Boycott, anyway. 'The other day, Geoffrey told me that he considers me to be his best friend,' Aggers told the Independent at the Edinburgh Book Festival, where he was promoting Thanks, Johnners, a tribute to the late Brian Johnston. 'But I don't know if that's a compliment. And I think his memory might be going. He thinks he used to bat like Ian Botham.'

The provisional schedules have been announced for Saturday 27 August for the two main channels. They are, as follows -
BBC1
5:30 - Epic Win
6:10 - Celebrity Total Wipeout
7:10 - Doctor Who
8:00 - National Lottery: Secret Fortune
8:50 - Casualty
9:40 - John Bishop's Britain
10:10 - BBC News & Weather
10:30 - Match Of The Day
ITV
6:30 - You've Been Framed!
7:00 - All Star Family Fortunes
8:00 - The X Factor
9:00 - A Night With Will Young
10:00 - ITV News & Weather
10:15 - Film: The Bourne Supremacy

Fans have backed former president Martin Sheen for the Irish premiership. The actor's devotees have launched social networking campaigns on Twitter and Facebook naming Sheen as their favourite for the nation's highest office. Sheen, who starred as the US president Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing from 1999 to 2006, is apparently unaware of the campaign in his name. 'This is quite some news,' Sheen's publicist Steve Rohr told the Irish Daily Lies. The actor, who is the father of former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen, has gained a remarkable number of supporters, including Britain's former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. 'Martin Sheen for Irish President - a winning candidate!' Prescott insisted. 'Get him in the race.' Sheen is an Irish citizen thanks to his late mother Mary Ann, who hailed from the Emerald Isle. He therefore qualifies to play for the Republic's football team. as indeed does yer actual Keith Telly Topping through his Irish grandmother. That's if they need an ageing striker with a dodgy knee. To replace Robbie Keane, the one they've already got. Sheen, a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, and not just because of our shared ancestry -beggorah, bejesus, where's me shillelagh? - can be seen next in The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens on 3 July 2012. As President Bartlet once so wisely noted, 'tell me Toby, these people don't vote, right?'

Matt LeBlanc has claimed that network television needs to adapt to keep up with changes in society. The Friends star told The Hollywood Reporter that cable television is better at reflecting the interests of a modern audience. 'Network television is great, but it has so many standards-and-practices constraints,' said LeBlanc. 'I get it, but society is evolving, and those rules need to reflect the new face of society, and they haven't yet.' LeBlanc added that he enjoys working with Showtime on Episodes, since 'the gloves are off. Not everything's so perfect,' he suggested. 'There's a little more dirt [and] there's a wrinkle in the curtain.' However, LeBlanc admitted that he had initially struggled to film a show without a studio audience after spending ten years on Friends. 'I say a punch line, and no-one laughs,' he recalled. Just like Joey, in other words. 'On my first day of shooting, I was completely thrown when the only laughter I heard was from a few crew people chuckling at the monitors.' Episodes was renewed for a second season in February. New episodes of the series, which broadcasts on BBC2 in the UK, will begin shooting in late October.

The Hour creator Abi Morgan has revealed her plans for a potential second series. The writer told Assignment X that the BBC period drama's next run - should it get one - would be set nine months after the first series. Morgan explained: 'When I decided to explore big historical events, I was really interested in the launch of Sputnik, the birth of CND, the anti-nuclear movement and also the kind of racial tensions that were happening near '58 in Notting Hill.' She added: 'I liked the idea of a fusion of three very different sorts of news stories of the time.' Morgan also hinted that viewers could expect the first series of The Hour to end with a twist when it's final episode is shown next Tuesday. 'I think mainly it's a thriller that resolves itself,' she said. '[But] I hope it resolves itself in a satisfying and surprising way.' Whether the episode gets a second series is, currently, in the lap of the Gods. Well received critically, The Hour kicked off with 2.9m viewers last month, though audience numbers have dipped for more recent episodes to around half that figure.

Charisma Carpenter has hinted that she may soon be appearing on Supernatural. And then, a couple of hours later, confirmed that she would be. So much for suspense! The actress implied on her Twitter account that she could play a role in the CW drama's seventh season. Carpenter wrote: 'I may be doing an episode of a show that involves special talents.' Responding to fan comments, she added: 'Not Alphas. Not Mentalist. Yes sci-fi genre.' The actress later confirmed that she was referring to Supernatural when two of her followers guessed correctly. Carpenter, of course, played Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1996 to 1999 and later starred in the spin-off series Angel between 1999 and 2004. She also played Kendall Casablancas on Veronica Mars and appeared in 2010 film The Expendables along with episodes of CSI, Charmed and Back To You. Charisma will, apparently, appear in the fifth episode of the show's new series, entitled Shut Up, Dr Phil alongside her former Buffy and Angel co-star James Marsters. Quick, somebody tell all of the girls over at Cold Dead Seed that yer actual Keith Telly Topping has just included another reference to Sweet James on From The North, it'll put the hits on this blog through the roof! Supernatural showrunner Sera Gamble told TVLine: 'This episode is "Bewitched gone wrong." [It was] all upside for this successful man (Marsters) while he was married to the witch (Carpenter), but now that he's pissed her off, the whole town is paying the price.' The actors will film their appearance next week in Vancouver. Carpenter has expressed excitement over the appearance and said that she hopes to undergo a complete transformation: 'I asked the director, "Can I be totally unrecognisable, using make-up effects, or do I have to be a 'hot' librarian?" And he was like, "Hot. Librarian." For once, I want to be something different!' Oh for goodness sake, can nobody mention the words 'hot librarian' and 'Charisma Carpenter' in the same sentence, please? This blogger already has to take medication for his high blood pressure without provocation like that.

The BBC has launched an investigation into how it broadcast to millions of people around the world programmes made by a company that had received millions of pounds in payments from the government of Malaysia. It has suspended all programming from the London-based production company, FBC, which since 2009 has made at least four BBC documentaries dealing with Malaysia and controversial issues such as the country's palm oil industry and its treatment of rainforests and indigenous people. In a statement, the BBC said: 'FBC has now admitted to the BBC that it has worked for the Malaysian government. That information was not disclosed to the BBC as we believe it should have been when the BBC contracted programming from FBC. Given this, the BBC has decided to transmit no more programming from FBC while it reviews its relationship with the company.' An investigation by the Independent established that entries in the Malaysian government's Supplementary Budget 2010 show that FBC Media was allocated 28.35m Malaysian Ringgit – nearly six million smackers – for work on a 'Global Strategic Communications Campaign' ordered by the Malaysian government in 2009. A similar sum was designated to the company the previous year. Concerns over the arrangements have been raised in the Malaysian parliament. Documents filed with the United States government's House of Representatives in 2008 show that FBC Media (UK) contracted the Washington-based American lobbying company APCO Worldwide, which it paid more than eighty thousand dollars in 2008 for the purpose of 'raising awareness of the importance of policies in Malaysia that are pro-business and pro-investment as well as [showing] the significance of reform and anti-terrorism efforts in that country.' The BBC's guidelines on conflict of interest state: 'Independent producers should not have inappropriate outside interests which could undermine the integrity and impartiality of the programmes and content they produce for the BBC.' Having obtained this information on the Malaysian payments, the BBC is conducting an investigation into whether any of the FBC material it broadcast was in breach of BBC guidelines on impartiality. At the same time, CNBC, a business channel owned by the giant American NBC network, has withdrawn 'indefinitely' its weekly show World Business, which was made by FBC and featured Malaysia on many occasions. In a statement issued to the Independent, the broadcaster said: 'In light of serious questions raised two weeks ago, CNBC withdrew the programme World Business indefinitely and immediately initiated an examination of FBC and its business practices. CNBC has made a formal inquiry to FBC for its explanation in relation to the allegations that have been made.' FBC denies 'any impropriety' in its programmes for any broadcaster and said via its lawyers that 'at no time have the television programmes made for the BBC ever been influenced or affected by our client's commercial activities.' Its lawyers added that FBC ran both production and commercial divisions, which 'are and always have been quite separate and distinct.' They continued: 'Our client, having reviewed its procedures, is now taking steps to ensure that even the merest appearance of bias or overlap is fully avoided.' Media regulator Ofcom, as usual speaking about itself in the third person rather like what yer actual Keith Telly Topping has started to do a lot, said: 'Ofcom is currently assessing this matter in accordance with our published procedures. We will shortly decide whether to launch a full investigation of the content in question under the broadcasting code.'

The advertising watchdog has banned a TV commercial by Optical Express featuring two times golf Open winner Padraig Harrington for misleading consumers into thinking his game had benefited from laser eye surgery, when he had never undergone the procedure with the company. Optical Express ran a TV campaign and accompanying brochure promoting the benefits of its laser eye surgery featuring the Irish golfer. In the advert he says: 'People often ask me: how can I improve my game? I tell them the secret is to stay focused. And of course it's important to have great vision. I need to be able to look down the line, focusing clearly on the target. My advice? Visit Optical Express. It could help your game too.' The brochure featured a further endorsement and testimonial by Harrington. The Advertising Standards Authority had previously upheld twenty three of twenty five complaints made against the campaign by rival laser eye surgery firm Ultralase and banned the advert on the grounds that it was misleading. Two of the complaints challenged that the advert campaign indicated Harrington had undergone laser eye surgery, when Ultralase claimed he had not undergone surgery with Optical Express. Optical Express called for an official review of all twenty five complaints and said the advert was an endorsement of laser eye surgery in general by Harrington who 'extolled the benefits of laser eye surgery for a professional golfer and advised that customers who might want the same benefits from laser eye surgery should visit Optical Express.' Optical Express claimed the advert did not 'relate, or in any way concern, any claim made by Mr Harrington as to the place where he had undergone laser eye surgery or the provider who undertook that surgery.' The company said there was 'no ambiguity, misleading content or impression, implication or innuendo in the ad.' Optical Express's argument was that the use of Harrington was simply to convey the idea that good vision is needed to play golf and Optical Express offers laser eye surgery. The advertising watchdog said the testimonial and the TV advert were both misleading as they conveyed the impression that Harrington – who has had laser eye surgery, but not with Optical Express – had experienced the benefits of the procedure with that particular company. The ASA reiterated its earlier ruling upholding twenty three of the twenty five complaints made by Ultralase and banned the TV advert. 'This is a crushing blow for Optical Express,' said Nina Best, an advertising law specialist at law firm Browne Jacobson. 'At the time the company took a major risk to challenge the ASA's decision. The decision to challenge has given rival eyecare business Ultralase more publicity than it could have bargained for in the first place.'

The US clothing brand Abercrombie and Fitch has offered to pay the rowdy, hard-partying cast of MTV reality show The Jersey Shore not to wear its clothes. The company said their association with the clothing was 'contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand.' It singled out Mike The Situation Sorrentino, saying he could cause 'significant damage to our image.' The show portrays the loud, hedonistic, mostly Italian-American cast carousing in the US state of New Jersey. The programme's fourth season, which followed the cast to Italy, premiered this month on MTV. 'We are deeply concerned that Mr Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image,' the company said in a statement. 'We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.'

Nicolas Winding Refn has revealed that a Wonder Woman film is a possibility. The Drive director claimed that studio executives have promised him he can shoot a Wonder Woman film provided his remake of Logan's Run performs well at the box office. 'I would love to make Wonder Woman,' Refn said at Empire Big Screen. 'And I also think that Christina Hendricks would be the perfect Wonder Woman, but Warner Bros haven't called yet.' Refn continued: 'But I'm getting closer with Logan's Run. I think someone said to me in a meeting that if I get Logan's Run right, then I'll get Wonder Woman.' Refn previously named the Mad Men star as his pick for the Amazonian princess in July. Oh God, the thought of that bottom in that costume. Dear, oh dear, there goes the blood pressure again. In May, NBC declined to take a TV pilot of Wonder Woman to series due in part to its lukewarm reception by test audiences. Refn will reunite with Drive star Ryan Gosling for Logan's Run. Gosling has said that he and Refn do not plan to rush the remake for fear of delivering a poor film.

The groundbreaking 1960s drama Cathy Come Home, which lead to the foundation of the homeless charity Shelter, is to be released on DVD. The drama was part of BBC1's The Wednesday Play strand which was well known for tackling a wide range of social issues. The Wednesday Play ran 1964 to 1970, before becoming Play For Today. Cathy Come Home was first broadcast in 1966. The drama starred Ray Brooks and Carol White as a couple who fall into a life of poverty and later end up on the streets when Brooks loses his well-paid job. The drama was about how people fall through the cracks in the ineffective housing system of the time and end up on the streets and homeless through no fault of their own. Cathy Come Home was directed by Ken Loach and utilised the documentary style of filming with hand-held cameras to give the piece a more realistic feel. It is an early example of dramas using the documentary style of filming - something that in more recent decades has become more common. The play was watched by twelve million people and raised questions which wider society had preferred to ignore. It is often credited - rightly or wrongly - with paving the way for the foundation of the charity Shelter which still operates today.

Jim Davidson has been given a six-month driving ban for refusing to name who was behind the wheel of his luxury sports car when it was pictured driving over the speed limit. The alleged comic's one hundred and thirty five thousand pound convertible Aston Martin DB9 Volante was caught doing thirty nine mph in a thirty zone in Maidstone. When first asked who was driving, Maidstone magistrates heard that Davidson replied: 'I'm still making enquiries as to who was actually driving, but is it okay if I nominate someone I don't like?' Which isn't really all that funny albeit, it's still probably the funniest thing that the notorious right-wing bigot has ever said in his entire career. He received several subsequent letters from the police asking him to name the driver, but repeatedly claimed that he did not know, the court was told. Davidson told magistrates he was probably in the vehicle but was unsure if it was him or his bodyguard behind the wheel. The car was leased, and the firm which owned it gave Davidson's name when it was caught last September. He was found extremely guilty of 'failing to provide information about a driver's identity.' He was given six points, leading to a ban because he already had points on his licence. He was also told to pay one thousand pound in fines and seven hundred and fifty smackers in costs. The judge also suggested that, if he'd like, Davidson could have several counts of 'doing his amusing Chalky White voice, an'ting' taken into consideration. Davidson is due to appeal. Not to many people except Sun readers, admittedly. In May last year, Davidson was fined one hundred and thirty notes for speeding even though he claimed he was not driving when his car was clocked at ninety six mph in Devon. One wonders whether David Cameron reckons Davidson should be banged up good an proper, in with all the murderers and the rapists and the people who nick a three pound fifty bottle of water. Or whether, on the contrary, he should be given a 'second chance.' Perhaps, we'll never care.

The Press Complaints Commission has rejected a complaint from the notorious victim of a cruel half-man half-pig medical experiment Wayne Rooney over a Sunday Times article which alleged that the Manchester United and England footballer had 'saved hundreds of thousands of pounds' due to complex tax arrangements. Rooney complained the article, headlined Top footballers dodge millions in income tax: Rooney pays two per cent on some earnings, was inaccurate and misleading. The article, published on 16 January, alleged the England footballer saved almost six hundred thousand smackers by taking £1.6m in loans rather than income over a two-year period. Rooney said the headline did not take into account that he was subject to corporation tax of twenty eight per cent and argued it would not be possible for any person to pay tax on earnings of two per cent. The footballer also complained that the article failed to mention he had paid the loan back the following year. The PCC on Wednesday dismissed Rooney's complaint. Stephen Abell, director of the PCC, said: 'This was a complicated financial arrangement and it was important for the commission to consider the circumstances in full. The commission's case law consistently makes clear that headlines – which are by their nature reductive – need to be read alongside the accompanying article. Although the PCC has upheld complaints in the past where there has been too great a disparity between the headline and the text of the article, this was not a feature on this occasion. As a result, the complaint was not upheld.' The PCC added that the Sunday Times article made clear that the arrangement was legal and that the loan had likely been repaid by Rooney.

The opening game of the FA Cup is to be streamed live on Facebook, the first live football match to be broadcast on the social networking site. FA Cup sponsor Budweiser brokered the deal with non-league teams Ascot United and Wembley FC. The live stream from Ascot's eleven hundred and fifty-capacity ground will be made available via an application built into the US brewer's UK Facebook page. 'To be involved in the first game of the FA Cup this season is an honour in itself, but to be part of a world first and have our match broadcast to a massive global audience is fantastic for our club,' said the Ascot United chairman, Mike Harrison. Budweiser said that the match, which kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday, will only be available to those of legal drinking age. Viewers must be aged eighteen and over and have 'liked' Budweiser's Facebook page to gain access to the free live stream. Though you don't, necessarily, have to 'like' Budweiser's weak as piss beer itself, apparently. Which is probably just as well. Facebook said that the live stream is not sponsored by, endorsed by, administered by or associated with the social networking website. In 2009 England's World Cup qualifier with Ukraine was broadcast on the Internet – the UK's first professional football match screened exclusively live online – on a pay-per-view basis after a rights offer to find a replacement broadcaster to air it on TV failed following Setanta's collapse.

A serial pest dubbed 'the dancing tramp' has been jailed for slashing a restaurant boss who caught him trying to pile spare ribs into a carrier bag. John Ventress had been given an Anti-social behaviour order earlier this year after the one-man crimewave racked up convictions for one hundred and twenty five offences. In April he went to a Chinese takeaway in Gateshead to take advantage of an 'eat as much as you can' offer. The offer only applies to people eating on the premises but Ventress was spotted loading spare ribs into a carrier bag to take away. When he was challenged by the owner, a disturbance broke out and ended with Ventress picking up a restaurant knife and attacking the owner from behind. Now Ventress has been jailed for thirteen months after he admitted assault and his sixth breach of the ASBO. Locking him up at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge James Goss told him: 'Clearly in drink and while on an ASBO, you generated a situation of disorder. You then picked up a knife which you deliberately used to slash the back of the restaurant owner, causing him a nasty cut on his back. You used that knife on an entirely innocent restaurant owner who is entitled to receive a certain amount of protection from the law.' Ventress, fifty nine, of no fixed address, had gone to the Taste of China restaurant, on High Street West, Gateshead, in April. Owner Xiang Kai Deng was running an offer whereby for a set fee customers could eat as much as they wanted from the buffet. Glenda Turnbull, prosecuting, said: 'The defendant and another man picked up a plate of food and poured it into a carrier bag. The owner confronted them and said they were welcome to eat as much as they wanted in the restaurant but if they wanted to leave they would have to pay takeaway prices. The defendant took exception to that.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, it's time to get merry. Clearly.

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