Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You Can't Help Someone Recover After What You Did

Things We Learned From TV This Week: Number One - Fiona Bruce was a Stone Roses fan! If you missed it, on the BBC Six O'Clock News after an excellent short piece by Lizo Mzimba on the press conference which announced that the popular Manchester four-piece were getting back together for a tour, Fiona noted: 'I used to love that album.' So did we all, Fi although, please note, they're called LPs not 'albums' - albums are things your parents keep their wedding photos in. Quote of the day concerning this event, however, perhaps inevitably came from long-term Ian Brown idoloiser Liam Gallagher who noted: 'The Stone Roses are getting back together. Not been this happy since my kids were born!' I know what you mean, la.
Meanwhile, Ian Brown used the occasion of the press conference to mock the Daily Scum Mail. Which is just one more reason to love The Stone Roses. As the Madchester band reunited at a press conference, the singer hit out at a journalist working for the newspaper. Brown said: 'What does it feel like to represent a newspaper that used to support Adolf Hitler? And supports the banker Kabbalists that are ruining the world? Did you vote Tory?' When the reporter in question claimed that he is not a Conservative Party supporter, Brown added: 'No-one ever votes Tory, do they?' The forty eight-year-old also revealed that 'Shoot You Down' from their eponymous debut LP was the first song they practised together after reuniting. Brown added: 'It was 'Shoot You Down'. It sounded great. Funky. It was a treat. My own private treat. Like a lapdance really.'

Also from last night's TV, a BBC continuity announcer said: 'Tonight's episode of The Body Farm includes scenes some viewers may find distressing.' And yer actual Keith telly Topping found himself saying 'Oh, good, I'll watch it then.' God in the heaven, there's clearly something fundamentally wrong with me!

Unfunny chebend James Corden admits that he was 'hurt' when his alleged comedy show Horne & Corden flopped so spectacularly. That's nothing to how badly those of us who actually had the misfortune to watch the damn thing felt. The Metro quotes him as saying 'It was not the best time but you learn.' Clearly, however, he hasn't as he's still trying - and failing - to be funny on A League Of Their Own.

Just occasionally one is reminded that US news programming is home to some real dicks. 'Man Killed To Death', that's almost worthy of Sky News. Almost, but not quite.
Prison Break's Wentworth Miller appeared in this week's episode House playing Benjamin, a software billionaire prone to giving his cash away to what he considers to be worthy causes. House brings in his old prison ally Dr Adams (Odette Annable) to consult when Benjamin collapses in the street, and she agrees to assist, at least until she can find another paying job. Despite making millions, Benjamin lives on just twenty five thousand dollars a year and gives the rest away. Adams believes that he's simply generous, but Park is convinced that his altruism is a symptom of a a neurological disorder. Foreman thinks House is treating Benjamin so that he can receive a financial reward - enough to hire back his old team. Foreman gives House two choices: 'You can recognise that your patient is just a very nice, healthy guy and send him home, or you can consider altruism a symptom, in which case, you can't take his money.' House finds Thirteen in the hospital's lobby - she insists that she won't be coming back to work for him. Instead, she's planning on moving to Greece with her new hot girlfriend, eager to spend what time she has left having fun. Benjamin's been taking allergy medication, so House decides to flush his system with saline and then run an EKG. Unusually, he decides to run the test himself. But it's really just an excuse to tell the patient his sob story. When he explains how his department is lacking in funds, Benjamin immediately offers to give House a one million dollars, but Wilson is on hand to remind his friend that exploiting someone who's potentially sick is both ethically and morally suspect.
Charity Case is a terrific episode - the best of the series so far - and has an added reason to be memorable. Unless something odd happens it's likely to be the last time Olivia Wilde appears in the show which she's graced for the last four years. As ever, she's brilliant in it, and he interplay with Hugh will be sadly missed. Oh, and the Charlie's Angels reference was brilliant too.

The BBC has confirmed it will pay for the rollout of digital audio broadcasting radio to ninety seven per cent of the population, but the culture minister Ed Vaizey has warned that a 'huge amount of work' remains to be done to get to switchover. The corporation's director of audio and music, Tim Davie, said the BBC would fund the expansion of its national DAB platform – coverage currently stands at just over ninety per cent –'despite the tough financial environment.' He said that every town with a population of more than five thousand people would have indoor DAB coverage, but admitted that 'small pockets of poor coverage in some of these areas' would remain. Davie said the priority was 'solid coverage' in the UK's top twenty five cities, with boosts to the signal in areas including London, Leicester, Glasgow, Coventry and Swansea. In a speech to the Drive to Digital conference at the BBC's Broadcasting House on Tuesday, Davie eschewed mention of a switchover date – preferring to talk about 'radio's digital hybrid future.' Vaizey picked up on the 2015 switchover target now effectively abandoned by the industry and said it 'still has an important purpose. You will no doubt have heard the negatives of digital radio, there has certainly been no shortage of column inches devoted to the subject,' he added. 'They often suggest that DAB is an out-of-date technology, that coverage and sound quality are inferior to analogue and listeners are already happy with what they've got, so why change? There are of course elements of truth in all these statements,' admitted the minister, a sentiment that may have sent eyebrows soaring towards Broadcasting House's newly-refurbished roof. 'However, it is all too often presented as a one-sided argument,' continued Vaizey. 'There are also many positives.' Vaizey said that the UK 'leads the world' in digital radio with more than fourteen million sets sold and the medium accounting for more than a quarter of all radio listening. He said nearly one in five new cars sold now came with DAB fitted as standard, with the industry on course to hits its fifty per cent target by the end of 2013. The government is planning to launch a digital radio certification mark towards the end of 2012 with a final decision on timing to be made in the first half of next year. Vaizey added: 'There is undoubtedly a huge amount of work to be done between now and mid-2013, with even more to follow if the switchover is to become a reality, but right now the only future I envisage for radio is digital. No one could predict ten years ago the success of Apple, the domination of Google, profitability in social networking. In all of these instances success and positive change were not achieved by standing still, but by grasping the opportunities in front of them.'

Lena Headey has suggested that the second season of Game of Thrones will explore her character's latent insanity. The 300 actress revealed that Queen Cersei will be struggling to keep her newly-crowned son King Joffrey (Jack Gleason) in check when the HBO series returns for its second season. 'She is losing control because her son is totally out of control,' Headey told Access Hollywood. 'I think she can't admit it to anybody. She's dying to ask for help, and she never will.' The actress went on say that she will explore her character's 'crazy' tendencies. 'There is a slightly incestuous relationship, which is very wrong, but it's the way she was brought up. She's a little crazy under the surface,' Headey said. 'Second season, I'm getting to explore that a bit more, which is good, because I like the crazy.'

Channel Four has been given exclusive access by the Foreign Office to some of the world's busiest British consulates for a new documentary series, Our Man In. The three-part documentary series follows British consuls and their staff in Spain as they deal with the problems thrown at them by British holidaymakers and expats. With around thirteen million British people visiting Spain each year, consuls are called on to help with incidents ranging from car crashes and crime to drunken binges and deaths. Last year Spanish British consular staff dealt with nearly twelve thousand cases. Our Man In's cameras will accompany them whether they are visiting police cells, prisons, hospitals or hotels, twenty four hours a day. The series was commissioned by Channel Four deputy head of features, Andrew Jackson, and will be broadcast in 2012. Jackson said: 'With never-before-seen access, it's great to be able to shine a light on this hidden world of our men and women on the consular front line tackling major and minor problems. With millions of Brits holidaying and living in Spain, the series is bound to be funny, moving, inspiring and surprising.' Our Man In is being made by made by independent production company Screenchannel TV, the firm behind shows including BBC1's Fake Britain and ITV and Sky's series on Luton Airport.

Former Brookside actor Brian Regan was a member of a gang which lured a man to his death in Liverpool, the city's crown court has heard claimed. Regan, fifty three, who played Terry Sullivan in the Channel Four soap, drove the killer to a pub where Bahman Faraji, forty four, was shot in the face, jurors were told. Faraji, a nightclub doorman from Liverpool, was killed outside the Belgrave pub in Aigburth in February. Regan of St Mary's Road, Liverpool, denies murder. He is accused alongside three other men - the alleged gunman Edward Heffey, forty, Lee Dodson, forty two and Simon Smart, thirty two. Prosecutor Brian Cummings said that Faraji was killed by Heffey after Dodson had enlisted the actor's help. 'Edward Heffey was the gunman who actually shot the victim, and Brian Regan, by arrangement with Lee Dodson, drove Heffey to and from the scene of the shooting, fully aware of the purpose of Heffey's trip,' Cummings alleged. He said that the victim was lured to the pub on 24 February following a series of phone calls he received from a mobile phone used by Smart. 'All the indications were that this was a dirty phone obtained for the purpose of luring Mr Faraji to his death and used in a disciplined way that was designed to leave no clue as to the identity of its user,' he said. Cummings said the gunman 'raised what appeared to be a shortened double-barrelled shotgun and fired it directly into Mr Faraji's face. There was a cloud of smoke and Mr Faraji fell to the ground,' he said. 'The gunman fled the scene on foot and witnesses saw him carrying a gun under his arm. He then got into a waiting vehicle driven by Brian Regan.' The court heard that the day after the shooting, police stopped a Ford Escort estate in Liverpool city centre, carrying Regan and his girlfriend Christine Line. Cummings said the actor gave a witness statement saying the car belonged to a friend but he had the use of it. 'He said he'd been using the car the previous evening but he had not been in the area where the murder took place,' the prosecutor said. 'Christine Line's witness statement said broadly the same thing but there were some significant differences,' he added. Police arrested them both and took them into custody for questioning. The jury was told that as they travelled to the police station, Regan said: 'I done nothing wrong and I didn't do anything willingly.' The actor told the officers 'I want to help you but I'll be shot,' said Cummings. The prosecution claim the couple, who live together, lied to police to try to give Regan a false alibi. Both deny a joint charge of perverting the course of justice. The trial continues.

Coronation Street's former talent show failure Kym Marsh has a word of warning for The Only Way is Essex's Mark Wright over his alleged acting plans. Isn't that a bit like Kerry Katona trying to give out singing tips? 'To act is not as easy as it looks,' Marsh says. Well, you'd certainly know all about that, Kym.

Daily Scum Mail publisher Associated Newspapers has agreed to pay 'substantial' damages to Lady Moore, the wife of Sir Roger Moore, over an article which wrongly suggested that she'd had relationships with wealthy older men more than fifty years ago. The diary piece, published in the Ephraim Hardcastle column on 8 October 2010, falsely claimed that Moore, formerly Kristina Tholstrup, had an affair with seventy four-year-old Taki Theodoracopulos and a ninety-year-old man in 1958 on the French Riviera. The column referred to a claim by Theodoracopulos in the Spectator magazine that the love of his life was a woman named Kiki, 'a gorgeous Swede with whom he lived at the Hotel du Cap in 1958.' A lawyer acting for Moore told the high court in London on Tuesday that the reader would infer that Kiki was the wife of the former Bond actor because she was pictured alongside the column. 'The allegations published by the newspaper on 8 October 2010 are completely untrue and seriously defamatory of Lady Moore,' Catherine Rhind, of Harbottle & Lewis, said in a statement in court. 'The true position is that Lady Moore was eighteen in 1958 and was living in Sweden with her mother and father and at that time had never visited France,' Rhind added. 'She could not therefore have been the person to whom Taki was referring as has indeed since been confirmed by Taki who has acknowledged that he was in fact writing about somebody entirely different.' Rhind said that the Daily Scum Mail had not checked the accuracy of the story with Moore before publication, 'despite the serious nature of what was claimed.' After Theodoracopulos made clear that he was not referring to Moore, the paper published another Ephraim Hardcastle diary item admitting it had been wrong to make the suggestion. She added that Associated Newspapers had agreed to pay Moore an undisclosed substantial sum in damages plus costs, and also agreed not to repeat the allegations. A lawyer acting for Associated Newspapers told the high court: 'The defendant acknowledges that the allegations made against Lady Moore are untrue and is happy to give the undertakings referred to. As the claimant's solicitor has confirmed, the Daily Mail corrected the matter in the Ephraim Hardcastle column at the first available opportunity. The defendant apologises for the distress and embarrassment caused to both Lady Moore and Sir Roger Moore.'

Grant Show and Matt Lauria have signed up for roles in CSI. Show has landed a multi-episode arc as Agent McQuaid, TV Line says. McQuaid, who is described as 'sexy and confident,' initially clashes with Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) when he turns up to help the team with their latest case. However, the pair soon become attracted to each other and end up having 'a steamy affair.' Meanwhile, TV Line reports that Lauria will play McQuaid's partner Sac Pratt. His character is described as cocky, but it is a front to hide his insecurities about being promoted too early. Show has previously starred in Melrose Place, Swingtown, Accidentally on Purpose, Private Practice, Big Love and Burn Notice, while Lauria is best known for his roles in Friday Night Lights and The Chicago Code.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is preparing to perform an extraordinary U-turn by calling for the release of court documents which could reveal that senior officials at the world governing body took bribes. FIFA has repeatedly blocked attempts by journalists to have the documents released. The BBC has learned that Blatter is to push for the publication of the papers at a crucial two-day meeting of the committee in Zurich, which starts on Thursday. The documents relate to a criminal investigation into the collapse of FIFA's former marketing partner International Sport and Leisure and are believed to show that senior FIFA officials were paid 'kickbacks' in return for granting ISL lucrative World Cup television and sponsorship rights during the 1990s. Last year, lawyers acting for FIFA and the officials paid five and a half million Swiss francs to settle the case and keep their identities secret. But last November a BBC Panorama investigation claimed that the two officials were former FIFA president Joao Havelange and his son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, a FIFA executive committee member and chairman of the World Cup organising committee for Brazil 2014. The programme said Teixeira received six million pounds in bribes via a front company called Sanud which was registered in the tax haven of Liechtenstein. The Brazilian Fraud Squad has now opened an investigation into the allegations. Reports say it wants to make a request to the Swiss courts to have the documents released as part of its inquiries. In May this year FIFA appealed for the second time against a Swiss prosecutors' decision to make them available to the public. The case is due to be heard later this month by the high court in the Swiss canton of Zug. But with FIFA under huge pressure to reform following months of damaging corruption allegations levelled at senior executives, Blatter has now agreed that the documents should be released and, if approved by the executive committee, will make a request to the court. Sources allegedly told the BBC that the proposal would 'form a package of changes' to be tabled at this week's executive committee meeting. Having promised 'zero tolerance' following his landslide re-election as president on 1 June, Blatter has been convinced that he needs to demonstrate a deep commitment to clean up FIFA. Calling for the release of the FIFA documents will be the most eye-catching of all the proposals. But it is a high-risk strategy. Teixeira is the frontman of the 2014 World Cup and is due to play a high-profile role in the announcement of the venues and match schedule for 2014 and the 2013 Confederations Cup on Thursday evening. The announcement is due to be carried live on Brazilian television. Teixeira is also said to covet ambitions to succeed Blatter as FIFA president when he stands down in 2015. The release of the documents could also leave other FIFA executive committee members under pressure. Last year's Panorama claimed that a confidential ISL document listed one hundred and seventy five payments to individuals and companies worth a total of sixty four million quid. Panorama said the list showed Nicolas Leoz, of Paraguay, received just under five hundred thousand smackers from ISL. The investigation also claimed that Issa Hayatou, the head of African football, received just under thirteen thousand wonga. Hayatou, Leoz and Teixeira have denied the claims. As part of his promise to clean up FIFA, Blatter and general secretary Jerome Valcke have been working closely with anti-corruption campaigners Transparency International. They produced a damning report on FIFA in August which called for Blatter to introduce greater transparency and to make 'sweeping reforms' to the governing body. Many of the reforms will need the support of a majority of the twenty three members of the executive committee and that is far from certain. If Blatter meets strong opposition he may have to wait until next May's congress in Budapest to try and force the changes through.

Meanwhile, disgraced former FIFA vice-president the odious Jack Warner has threatened to release 'a tsunami' of corruption allegations against Blatter himself. Warner said Tuesday he will make the allegations after former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam completes his appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport against a life ban for bribery. 'I have promised in the past a tsunami that would hit the FIFA, and indeed, it will come,' Warner, a member of FIFA's ruling executive committee for twenty eight years, wrote in a letter to a newspaper in his native Trinidad. In the letter to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian on Tuesday, Warner also reiterated that he plans widespread revelations about FIFA, which he accused of racism and zionism, 'when the time is right.' A verdict in bin Hammam's appeal to CAS is not expected for several months. The bribery scandal ended Warner's career in football when he resigned in disgrace in June to avoid investigation of his role in arranging forty thousand dollars payments for Caribbean voters during bin Hammam's election challenge to Blatter. Warner's thirteen hundred-word rant - published in full - stated that he and bin Hammam 'helped' Blatter win 'bitter' and 'brutal' elections in 1998 and 2002. Warner said his revelations would make FIFA's sponsors - which include Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony and Visa - 'cringe with painful surprise.' The threats were published three days before Blatter will announce details of an anti-corruption drive promised when FIFA member nations gave the seventy five-year-old Swiss official a final four-year term unopposed in June. 'Blatter now suddenly sees the need to reform the FIFA from within in his last term of office and in the sunset of his days,' Warner wrote. 'This is hypocritical to say the least for it is public knowledge that his four terms of office have been dogged with controversy and allegations of corruption to which he has never responded.' Warner said he and bin Hammam backed Blatter's first campaign in 1998 and to secure re-election four years later, when the governing body was mired in a financial scandal. 'We took [Blatter] on a worldwide crusade through Africa and Asia begging for support for him, and he won!' Warner recalled his first meeting with Petrus Damaseb, who chaired the FIFA ethics panel that expelled bin Hammam in July. He implied that Damaseb, then Namibia soccer federation president, accepted a payment in 1998. FIFA introduced an ethics code in 2006 that prohibited cash gifts. 'I will tell the world what gift Bin Hammam gave to [Damaseb] which was not a bribe then as he has ruled today,' Warner wrote. The bribery scandal was sparked when whistleblowers from four Caribbean countries reported that cash was offered during bin Hammam's 10 May visit to Trinidad ahead of the FIFA vote for president. A video of the vile and odious Warner urging Caribbean soccer leaders to accept their cash gifts was leaked last week and published on the website of the Daily Torygraph. Warner, however, continues to insist that he is, clearly, not as bent as a boomerang. Bin Hammam has claimed that Blatter and Chuck Blazer, the American FIFA executive committee member and Warner's longtime ally, orchestrated the bribery scandal because Bin Hammam was poised to take the top job at FIFA. Warner calculated that his twenty five Caribbean Football Union members were key because Blatter was leading the race by just a handful of votes. Because of the bribery allegations, Bin Hammam ended his election bid days before the June vote. 'It would have been an interesting encounter until the region was sold out to Blazer and Blatter,' Warner wrote.

Sir Tom Jones is reportedly considering joining The Voice UK's panel. The multi-award-winning singer - whose entertainment career spans six decades - is in advanced talks to join the BBC1 talent show, the Sun claims. An alleged 'source' is allegedly quoted as allegedly saying: 'Tom is close to committing. He has almost fifty years' experience in music, so he'll be able to give contestants decent advice. Jessie J will attract younger viewers but Tom's bound to be the housewives' favourite.' Jones began singing as a young child in school choirs and at family functions, and found international success with 'It's Not Unusual' in early 1965. His most recent CD, the gospel-inspired Praise & Blame, entered the UK charts at number two in 2010. Jessie J was confirmed as the first coach for The Voice UK earlier this month. She said that she hopes the show's 'blind auditions' format - where contestants are initially judged on their singing voice alone - will encourage applicants who are usually discouraged by similar shows.

We're taking a brief break from Keith Telly Topping's Beatles 45 of the Day from Around the World to return to Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day and a thing of joy and beauty and a stone-groove twenty four carat masterpiece from McAlmont and Butler.
And from that, to Keith Telly Topping's Beatles 45 of the Day from Around the World and a song that, on a chilly morning like today, proves that George Harrison really was a sarky sod.

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