Monday, October 24, 2011

Babylon's Burning With Anxiety

Channel Four's controversial documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, which featured graphic footage of alleged war crimes, has been cleared of breaching the broadcasting code. Ofcom said that images featured in the documentary, broadcast in June, 'whilst brutal and shocking,' did not exceed what the Channel Four audience would have expected, given the pre-transmission warning about the nature of the content and the programme's scheduling at 11.05pm, well after the 9pm watershed. The media regulator received one hundred and eighteen complaints - from whingers - about the documentary, concerning a variety of issues including impartiality, offensiveness and the broadcast of misleading material, but it concluded that the documentary had not breached the broadcasting code on any of these counts. And that those who had complained should, frankly, shut the hell up. Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, which focused on a UN investigation into alleged war crimes during the final weeks of the country's bloody civil war, included a number of images of murdered and tortured bodies, and also of partially clothed women who, it was suggested in the documentary, had been sexually abused prior to their death. The documentary featured mobile phone footage, photographs and eyewitness accounts gathered by programme-maker ITN Productions. The regulator said: 'Channel Four has a unique public service remit to provide programming that is challenging, diverse and likely to provoke debate. Consequently, the broadcaster has a history of broadcasting very challenging material from war zones (including graphic footage) and seeking out the voices and views of those who may not be represented. The images included in this programme, whilst brutal and shocking, would not have exceeded the expectations of the audience for this Channel Four documentary scheduled well after the watershed with very clear warnings about the nature of the content.' On the question of impartiality, Ofcom noted that Channel Four had put all of the significant allegations made in the documentary to the Sri Lankan government and broadcast the limited statement which was provided by them. The documentary also included previous Sri Lankan government statements relating to the final stages of the civil war against the Tamil Tigers, including a clip of an official claiming that the first video of an alleged execution shown in the programme was 'a fake.' Ofcom also said that the documentary was only required to maintain due impartiality on its specific subject — the government offensive against the Tamil Tigers in the final stages of the war — and not upon the conflict as a whole. 'Ofcom therefore concluded that overall Channel Four preserved due impartiality in its examination of the Sri Lankan government's actions and policies during its offensive and there was no breach of [the code],' Ofcom concluded. In response to complaints that the programme was 'misleading,' Ofcom concluded that Channel Four had taken 'reasonable steps' to establish that the material included in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields was not faked or manipulated, and had not materially misled viewers in the way it was presented on-air. Earlier in October Dorothy Byrne, the Channel Four head of news of current affairs, told the Lords communications committee that programmes such as Sri Lanka's Killing Fields faced 'worldwide PR exercises.' Byrne said that stories appeared about the Sri Lanka investigation 'all over the world in a highly organised way. They appear to be normal stories and they are not – they are obviously coming from somewhere. Demonstrations have taken place in the street – there was one outside Channel Four – and this demonstration had been organised by the Sri Lankan ministry of defence,' she added.

Never let it be said that notorious Barry Gibb-lookalike Robbie Savage doesn't give it his all on Strictly Come Dancing. The former Welsh international footballer and irritant performed a big finish to his 'Lover Man' jive with partner Ola Jordan by sliding across the dance floor to kiss a camera in extreme close-up. Unfortunately Savage misjudged the slide - a bit like he regularly used to misjudge tackles in his Leicester City and Birmingham days - and slid straight into the camera, reports the Sun. Result: one damaged ego and, even more importantly in the 'not my beautiful face' stakes, a suspected broken nose. Fortunately, the cameraman was not injured. Savage probably claimed that he dived, anyway. It's not the first time that Savage has been smacked, amusingly, in the hooter. During a match against yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies in August 2003, the referee Matt Messias swung his arm out and accidentally (so he claimed) hit Savage in the face. Savage, inevitably, went down like a sack of shit holding his face. Messias called a halt to the game and then proved that some referees do have a sense of humour when he gave Alan Shearer his red card who promptly showed it to the referee. Savage eventually got back up on his feet and had sustained no injuries apart from a bruised ego and messed up Barnett. The incident became something of a regular feature on Soccer AM as have many other recordings of Savage being hit in the face by the ball. One particularly memorable incident occurred at Highbury, when a ball kicked by Robert Pirès struck Savage straight in the face, to the delight and loud cheers of the home fans. And, indeed, football lovers everywhere. Also, on 17 January 2010, whilst commentating for BBC Radio 5Live's coverage of a Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United, a clearance by Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov hit Savage squarely in the mush causing some minor bleeding to the nose. Couldn't happen to a nicer fellah.
Disgraceful old recidivist Rupert Murdoch was 'dealt a body blow' by shareholders last Friday, following calls for the News Corp chairman and his sons to resign from the board amidst new hacking allegations. At News Corp's annual meeting in Los Angeles, Murdoch came out fighting with a feisty speech, telling the packed audience that the company's history was 'the stuff of legend.' But the billionaire tyrant was criticised by a majority of shareholders, including many of the largest investors voting against his re-election as chairman and the re-appointment of his sons, James and Lachlan, to the company's board. The shareholders also did not approve the thirty three million dollars Rupert Murdoch was paid as chairman and chief executive this year, reports the Gruniad. Murdoch controls only twelve per cent of News Corp, but has around forty per cent of the votes due to News Corp's two classes of shares, meaning there was no chance of him or James Murdoch being ousted from the board. However, such a broad rebellion from the investors will have been a blow to the eighty-year-old, with James Murdoch particularly singled out for the biggest vote of no confidence. The youngest Murdoch son is facing further questions from MPs over the evidence he gave in the parliamentary inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal at the Scum of the World. His position as chairman of pay-TV giant Sky was also questioned earlier in the year by shareholders, although he was ultimately given the qualified backing of the board. At the meeting, Rupert Murdoch said that he was 'personally determined' to clean up the phone-hacking scandal which resulted in the closure of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World and the withdrawal of the company's takeover bid for Sky. But he said that the issue must be set in context of a company that had faced 'understandable scrutiny and unfair attack.' The Labour MP Tommy Watson (power to the people!), a major figure in the fight to expose phone-hacking, had travelled to Los Angeles to speak at the meeting. He warned News Corp investors of the potential for a 'Mulcaire two' - in reference to the jailed private investigator Glenn Mulcaire - in the UK as victims of alleged computer-hacking prepared to take action against newspaper group News International. 'You haven't told any of your investors what is to come,' he told Murdoch, adding that the Metropolitan police was investigating computer-hacking by private investigators who had worked for the Scum of the World and for other newspapers. However, the News Corp boss insisted that the firm was co-operating fully with the police investigation. After the meeting, Watson said: 'If my concerns are founded then this company is going to experience even more litigation in the future than it faces now.' Various investor groups expressed concern at the meeting about the conduct of News Corp, including Julie Tanner, assistant director of Christian Brothers Investment Services, saying that the 'extraordinary scandals' in Britain required a complete corporate overhaul. Tanner proposed a motion that News Corp appoint an independent chairman, 'to empower the board in relation to the Murdoch family.' She also asked for 'a truly independent investigation' into the phone-hacking allegations, rather than the current London-based internal management and standards committee. Security was tight at the Zanuck Theatre at Fox Studios on Friday, and outside around two hundred protesters rallied, carrying signs that read 'Stop the Lies', 'News Corp Board Has To Go' and 'Murdoch Is A Greedy Bastard' etc. A few hours before the meeting began, News Corp had confirmed that it had reached an agreement to pay the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler two million smackers in 'compensation' over allegations that the Scum of the World had hacked her mobile phone when she went missing in 2002. Rupert Murdoch said that, in addition, he would personally donate an additional one million pounds to six charities. Let's hope their six dealing with issues that his newspapers really disapprove of. 'Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly,' the Dowler family said in a statement. 'The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory.'

Amusing moment where everything goes wrong on BBC News, number two (part of an irregular series): The autocue fails as Alex Bushill is about to read out the latest news headlines in BBC London News.

The final episode of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved [spooks] was seen by more than five million overnight viewers on Sunday evening, while The X Factor results show stayed above eleven million, the latest audience data has shown. [spooks], reaching its conclusion - in which some bastard decided it was a good idea to kill off Ruth! - on BBC1 after ten series, eighty six episodes and the deaths of ten regular characters(!), was watched by 5.13m in the 9pm hour. Downton Abbey, on opposite, averaged 8.87m on ITV from 9pm and a further three hundred and twenty three thousand on timeshift. The X Factor pulled in 11.12m on ITV from 8pm, peaking at 12.42m for the last fifteen minutes as Sami Brookes lost the sing-off to Kitty Brucknell and was eliminated from the competition. BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing continued with an impressive 9.66m between 7.30pm and 8pm, as Rory Bremner became the latest celebrity to exit the series. Elsewhere on BBC1, Countryfile's success story continues - 7.27m watched the show from 7pm and Antiques Roadshow took 6.03m from 8pm. There was less good news for ITV, elsewhere. The wretched abortion of a quiz show Holding Out For A Hero continued with a risible 2.16m from 6.45pm. And, the odious Adrian Chiles-fronted That Sunday Night Show was watched by a meagre 1.49m from 10.15pm. It was comprehensively beaten by a show Chiles used to present before he traitorously left the Beeb for ITV's wads of mucho wonga, BBC2's Match of the Day 2 which had one of its highest ever audiences - 3.83m - to watch Sheikh Yer Man city FC beating The Scum 6-1.

Sami Brookes has claimed that the widely publicised X Factor 'bust-ups' over the last few days have been caused by 'monthly symptoms' shared by the female contestants. It was revealed over the weekend that Brookes, Misha Bryan and girl group Rhythmix had fallen out behind the scenes and there were accusations in the tabloids that Bryan had been 'bullying' the other acts. However, thirty one-year-old Brookes downplayed the disputes, explaining to the Digital Spy website that their rows had stemmed from more innocent 'ladies problems.'

Straight from BARB, here's the Top Twenty Five TV show for week ending 16 October and, hang out the flags, ITV have actually filled in their returns for this week:-
1 The X Factor - ITV Sun - 10.84m
2 Downton Abbey - ITV Sun - 10.16m
3 Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1 Sat - 10.08m
4 Doc Martin - ITV Mon - 9.45m
5 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 9.23m
6 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 8.69m
7 Merlin - BBC1 Sat - 7.04m
8 Emmerdale - ITV Mon - 6.96m
9 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 6.95m
10 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 6.49m
11 Midsomer Murders - ITV Wed - 5.67m
12 Casaulty - BBC1 Sat - 5.45m
13 [spooks] - BBC1 Sun - 5.27m
14 DCI Banks - ITV Fri - 5.19m
15 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - .12m
16 Hidden - BBC1 Thurs - 5.05m
17 Watchdog - BBC1 Thurs - 4.78m
18 The ONE Show - BBC1 Tues - 4.77m
19= The National Lottery: Saturday Draws - BBC1 Sat - 4.60m
19= Waterloo Road - BBC1 Wed - 4.60m
19= The Body Farm - BBC1 Tues - 4.60m
22 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Tues - 4.56m
23 Ten O'Clock News - BBc1 Tues - 4.54m
24 Have I Got News For You - BBC1 Fri - 4.47m
25 Harry Hill's TV Burp - ITV Sat - 4.21m
BBC2's two highest rated shows were University Challenge (3.03m) and Qi (2.91m). Grand Designs (3.52m) and Location, Location, Location (3.01m) scored well for Channel Four. The highest multi-channel audience of the week was for Sky 1's An Idiot Abroad 2 (2.25m).

The BBC has scored forty two nominations for this year's BAFTA Children's Awards - but faces stiff competition from multichannel and other terrestrial networks. Horrible Histories (Lion TV) has been nominated three times, having won in three categories last year, while Peppa Pig has now received its tenth nomination. The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC Wales) has been nominated for its fourth year in a row, while newcomers Rastamouse and Octonauts (Chorion) will vie against each other in the preschool animation category. Peak time documentary Jamie's Dream School features in the Learning (Secondary) category, while in factual Dene Film's My Life: Stammer School is up against the Blue Peter Comic Relief special Girl on Wire. Voting for the BAFTA Kids' Vote opens this week and closes on 25 November. The British Academy Children's Awards will take place on Sunday 27 November at the London Hilton, and for the second year running will be hosted by Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood. Winners of each category will this year be presented their award by chart toppers JLS.

Tony Jordan has said, in an interview with the Gruniad, that the BBC should revive the 1990s Costa Del Sol based soap Eldorado. Mmmm. Interesting theory. Jordan, whose credits include fellow BBC soap EastEnders, suggested reviving the series despite the lower-than-rattlesnakes-piss reputation which Eldorado has always held. The short-lived soap was created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland who had also created EastEnders for the corporation in 1985. Eldorado revolved around ex-parts living in the fictional Costa Del Sol town of Los Barcos. The cast included Patricia Blake, Polly Perkins, Jesse Birdsall and Derek Martin. Eldorado ran for just a year between 1992 and 1993 clocking up one hundred and fifty eight episodes during its time on air. Then it was cancelled. Because it was shite. Jordan wrote the opening episode and freely admitted, during the interview with the Gruniad, that it was not good. 'It was one of the worst things I'd seen in my life. I remember phoning one of the other writers and saying: 'We're in shit. It's like fucking Thunderbirds. We're in trouble'. However, Jordan describes Eldorado as 'a fantastic brand ... although obviously not in the way it was first done, and I wrote the first episode so I'm allowed to say that.' He added: 'The beauty of soap is that you write it and then it's on-screen immediately, so you learn from your mistakes constantly. You see if what's on-screen works or doesn't and that's invaluable.' Eldorado was axed by the BBC after just a year because of the constant mauling it received from the UK press. The soap became notorious for its dodgy acting, fluffed lines and bizarre storylines becoming, as Crossroads was before it, a press favourite to mock. It's a somewhat unfair reputation though because when producer Corrinne Hollingworth was brought in the soap did turn around its fortunes with improvements in its production format and big rise in ratings - by the end of its run Eldorado regularly had ten million viewers. Many years later a documentary on BBC2 explored the difficulties that Eldorado had faced and its reputation. It revealed that the production was brought forward by the BBC who wanted to begin airing the soap earlier than planned - which meant that many of the sets were not completed in time and scenes had to be filmed without rehearsals to meet the new deadline. It is not the first time that a revival of Eldorado has been mooted but, given the failure of Crossroads on ITV between 2001 and 2003 to successfully revive and reinvent itself, its unlikely the BBC would be willing to spend millions, at a time when budgets are being squeezed, to revive such a project.

The death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave BBC1's Six O'Clock News a much-increased audience on Thursday night – its biggest since the London riots on 9 August. The 6pm news bulletin benefited from being scheduled earlier than its terrestrial rivals: as viewers arrived home looking for the latest on the story, five million tuned-in to BBC1, giving it a twenty seven per cent share of the audience at the time. Later news programmes on other channels were relatively unaffected: 3.5 million caught up with the story on ITV at 6.30pm, while eight hundred thousand people who knit their own yoghurt watched Channel Four News at 7pm. Late-evening bulletins rated unremarkably. Elsewhere, BBC1's much hyped drama Hidden lost half a million viewers from its previous episode, falling to an overnight of 3.8 million.

2entertain are launching the first ever official Doctor Who parties for fans to celebrate the release of The Complete Series Six on DVD and Blu-Ray next month. Fans can sign up to host a Doctor Who themed party in their home on the 19 or 20 November (the box sets are released on 21 November). The first four hundred fans to sign-up will receive an exclusive party pack containing official Doctor Who merchandise, game suggestions, posters and more. Furthermore, all the first four hundred will get exclusive access to stream never-seen-before extras before the box set becomes available to buy, including four Monster File previews.

Meanwhile, Peter Davison discussed the possibility of a fiftieth anniversary appearance in Doctor Who recently: 'I feel no need to turn my back on it, but I don't feel like it's the kind of thing they'd do. I'd be very surprised if they tried to do anything involving the old Doctors because it always takes a slight stretch of the imagination anyway to figure out why the previous Doctors look older - but I'm sure that can be done. But at the same time I'm not sort of longing on it. I'm perfectly happy to have played my part to go back to Time Crash. I don't feel like I'm hanging on a phone call from the Doctor Who offices saying let's do something special.'
Being Erica, the Canadian comedy drama aired in the UK on E4, has been censured by Ofcom for showing an ice sculpture shaped like a penis at a time when children could have been watching. Being Erica follows a woman attempting to deal with her life woes by seeing a therapist, who sends her back in time to re-live and change events in her life. A complainant - whom, seemingly had nothing better to do with his or her time - contacted media regulator Ofcom about the episode broadcast on 11 August, which featured the large ice sculpture of an erect penis and scrotum placed on a bar. In the scene, shown on E4 in the early morning during the school holidays, bar owner Ivan and his partner Dave discussed the sculpture, which had been ordered as decoration for a party. 'Why is this an ice penis?' Ivan asks. Dave replies: 'That's what you told me to order.' The conversation continues: 'No, I asked you to order an ice Venus,' 'Like the planet?', 'No, like the Venus de Milo, the Goddess of Love - she without arms - not this phallic monstrosity.' In the rest of the fifty-minute programme, there were four further scenes in which the ice sculpture appeared either in the background, or was referred to by the characters. The complainant was concerned that the programme's scheduling at 7.35am meant that it was likely to be viewed by children. Although why any child would be out of bed at half-past-seven let alone watching E4, of all things, is not made clear. Channel Four said that 'stringent processes' were in place to ensure all programming repeated in daytime was 'reviewed and edited appropriately.' But, the broadcaster said that the ice penis sculpture was always referred to in 'a comedic way' and it was 'mostly background and incidental.' Channel Four added that it considered the ice sculpture to be an 'an abstraction of a phallic image that is made of ice, rather than a facsimile of an erect penis.' However, it noted that the inclusion of the image at 7.35am on E4 'ay not have been appropriate,'and it has since reclassified the episode for future broadcasts. In its latest Broadcast Bulletin, Ofcom said that there was no ban on depicting human genitalia before the 9pm watershed, but the nature of the cumulative references to the ice penis in Being Erica conveyed ' sexualised theme. We noted Channel Four's submission that it considered the ice sculpture to be an, "an abstraction of a phallic image that is made of ice, rather than a facsimile of an erect penis." We disagreed,' said Ofcom who appear not to have a single solitary humour bone in their entire collective body. 'In our view, the appearance and relative dimensions of the penis and scrotum depicted in the ice sculpture were highly likely to mean the ice sculpture would be perceived by members of the audience as being a depiction of an erect penis. Given the above, it is Ofcom's view that this content was not suitable for children ... on balance we did not consider this material was appropriately scheduled.' Ofcom noted that Channel Four had reclassified the Being Erica episode, but added that it was 'concerned' such an issue could arise so soon after a recent, similar compliance failure by Channel Four.

And, still on more or less the same subject, ITV's This Morning gave 'undue prominence' to a new legal service being promoted by Amanda Holden, the UK media regulator has said. On 29 July, This Morning featured an interview with Holden, in which she discussed her role as a judge on Britain's Got Talent and her part in Shrek the Musical. Ofcom decided to investigate after Holden ended the interview by discussing QualitySolicitors, a group of law firms who claim to provide 'the very highest standards of client service in the legal market,' including a free first consultation. On the live programme, Holden claimed that the solicitors were 'kosher' and 'are not going to rip you off,' adding that a list of QualitySolicitors was available at all WH Smith stores. One of the presenters responded: 'I think it's good having something like that cos there's a culture now where you put the telly on in the morning and there's all these adverts - all these words of blame and claim - and they're sort of like vultures really, and so get, you know, a decent firm.' Holden concluded: 'Yes, I'm launching that today and from Monday if you go on to the QualitySolicitors' website. You will get the list of the hundred WH Smiths near you.' ITV confirmed that neither QualitySolicitors nor WH Smith had a product placement deal with This Morning, and stressed that the 'primary focus' of the interview was to discuss Holden's roles on Shrek the Musical and Britain's Got Talent. The broadcaster said that Holden had revealed in advance that she would discuss the QualitySolicitors campaign, but claimed that the references she made 'were not excessively promotional and did not exceed the editorial requirements of the programme.' Ofcom noted that there can sometimes be justification to cover celebrities' guest work or ventures in interviews, but in this case there was no explanation as to why QualitySolicitors was related to Holden's entertainment career. 'We considered Ms Holden gave the impression that a key part of the purpose of her interview was to discuss QualitySolicitors, when she said, "I'm part of this new campaign as well that I wanted to come and talk to you about. It's called QualitySolicitors..." and concluded the discussion by saying: "So yes, I'm launching that today"' said the regulator. 'Ms Holden's involvement with QualitySolicitors therefore appeared to Ofcom to be as the promoter of its latest service. As such, we considered that viewers were likely to conclude that the interview provided her with an opportunity to promote such law firms and their latest service, and the availability of details about it in one hundred branches of WH Smith throughout the UK. The programme therefore gave undue prominence to services in programming.' Ofcom noted that ITV had already responded to the investigation by agreeing to provide compliance training refreshers to its production teams working on live programming across its network.

The televising of the Amanda Knox trial helped John Whittingdale to understand the case and sympathise with her, he revealed at a debate about allowing cameras into the court room. The chair of the Commons culture, media and sport committee said: 'I have more sympathy and better understanding of the Amanda Knox trial because it being broadcast on Sky News.' Whittingdale, came out in favour of the allowing cameras into the court room at Cameras in Court – A long overdue change or a step too far? organised by ITN and the Media Society. He said that there was growing pressure and support among MPs for the move to allow cameras into the courtroom in England and Wales. When pressed on when he expected the move to be implemented, Whittingdale said he expected the proposal to be acknowledged in the Queen's speech. Whittingdale told Broadcast magazine that he would be applying for a debate in Parliament on Justice Secretary Ken Clarke's proposal. Clarke said in September that he could see 'no good reason' why cameras could not be allowed into the courts to broadcast judges' verdicts. He proposed to start with the Court of Appeal initially and move to the Crown Court later. BBC head of newsgathering Fran Unsworth also attended the debate and criticised the proposals for not going far enough. She said: 'The Justice Secretary's proposal is incredibly modest. All that is being proposed is that we should be allowed to film the judge in the Court of Appeal. If that is all that cameras in court is going to mean I'm not sure that it contributes to the aim of open justice,' she added. ITN head of compliance John Battle said that the UK was 'lagging behind the rest of the world,' which was 'sad considering the UK sets the pace of open justice.' The Ministry of Justice is currently holding a consultation with the judiciary on the proposals.

An influential Egyptian TV talk show host has suspended his broadcasts in protest at media censorship. Yosri Fouda, host of The Last Word on the private satellite channel ONTV, said there had been 'a noticeable deterioration in media freedoms.' Fouda, speaking amid rising journalistic discontent about the ruling military's media policy, said the deterioration was 'accompanied by a noticeable laxity towards the media's bathos (triviality).' He wrote on his Facebook page: 'The deterioration and laxity spring from a belief held by those in authority that the media can deny an existing reality or fabricate a reality that does not exist.' He would therefore be 'indefinitely suspending' his show, which has hosted senior military commanders as well as activists who oppose the ruling generals. Fouda is a former London bureau chief for the Al-Jazeera news channel. The military, which has inveighed against what it calls 'sensationalist journalism,' has denied that it censors the media. It also defended controversial coverage by the state broadcaster, ERTU, of a clash between soldiers and Christians earlier this month in which twenty five people died.

The 'most comprehensive statistics published so far' on the August riots in England show that those who took part were poorer, younger and of lower educational achievement than average according to the Ministry of Justice. The statistics also reveal that the Pope is almost certainly Catholic and the bears do, indeed, shit in the woods.

The Only Way Is Essex sisters Sam and Billie Faiers were allegedly attacked by a group of girls during the weekend, police have confirmed. The ITV2 reality regulars thanked their fans for the support they have received after the incident. Billie Faiers had her fifteen hundred smackers Mulberry handbag stolen at the Jet Black central London nightclub late on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday. She also reported being attacked outside the club, police said. On the way home in a taxi, her sister Sam is said to have received a call on her mobile phone saying she would get Billie's phone back if she went to a specified location. When she went to the spot, she was allegedly attacked by ten girls. Both women were taken to Whipps Cross Hospital in East London, where they were kept in overnight. Sam Faiers underwent a brain scan before doctors gave her the all-clear and told her to rest. Sam Faiers tweeted on Monday: 'Just want to say a big thank you to everyone. I love u [sic] all lots. Am resting up all day. Thank you for your kind messages.' Billie's spokesman Luke Mills said of the incidents: 'It was a massively unprovoked attack, which was clearly premeditated. We are assisting police with their inquiries.' A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: 'Officers will take steps to establish the full circumstances.'

Stone Roses singer Ian Brown has been given a fine and penalty points after admitting driving at more than one hundred mph. At Chester Magistrates' Court Brown, forty eight, from Lymm in Cheshire, pleaded guilty to speeding. He was stopped at half past midnight on 25 April on the northbound M6 motorway in Cheshire after being recorded doing one hundred and five mph. The singer, who is touring next year with the reformed band, was fined six hundred and fifty smackers and given six points on his licence. It would have been far worse but the judge let him off on condition that the Roses play 'Mersey Pardise' at their upcoming reunion gigs.

An Australian man has been charged after allegedly baring his bottom at the Queen in Brisbane. Liam Warriner, twenty two, of Sydney was bailed on Monday and is expected to face charges of 'wilful exposure and public nuisance' at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday, the Courier Mail reports. Warriner said: 'I mooned the Queen. Everybody's seen someone's butt, come on. You see it on TV all the time, you see it in movies, it's accepted in PG-rated programming these days, but yet it's an offence to the Queen.' Asked if his genitals were visible to the public, he added: 'Not the front at all. There were loads of people there to see the Queen. I wouldn't want all of them seeing [that].' Warriner reportedly exposed his behind with an Australian flag placed between his bottom cheeks after the Queen waved at him.

The latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is a twenty four carat post-punk masterpiece from Malcolm, Segs, Paul and Dave. A song that's every single bit as relevant today as it was in 1979.

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