Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Seventy Five Not Out

The BBC will today mark the seventy fifth anniversary of the world's first regular 'high definition' television service at Alexandra Palace, the venue where their first broadcast was staged. On 2 November 1936, the television revolution was launched after the first broadcast in high definition - two hundred and twelve lines - was conducted at the North London venue. The specific term high definition was used in the 1930s to differentiate the broadcasts from previous systems, which used mechanical technology that delivered as few as thirty lines of resolution. Low resolution experimental broadcasts by John Logie Baird had been conducted by the BBC as early as 1929, using the BBC transmitter in London and by 1930 a regular schedule of programmes was transmitted from the BBC antenna in Brookmans Park. Television production was switched from Baird's company to what is now known as BBC1 on 2 August 1932 and continued until September 1935. By the time that the BBC began regular transmissions both Marconi and EMI had experimented with early forms of the present system. A regular electronic television service had begun in Nazi Germany in March 1935, but that only used a one hundred and eighty-line system. Very few receivers were ever privately owned, and viewers went instead to Fernsehstuben (television parlors). Regularly scheduled electronically scanned television began on the BBC also to just a few hundred viewers in the immediate area. It was reaching an estimated thirty thousand homes before the outbreak of World War II which caused the service to be suspended in September 1939. A series of activities will go ahead this weekend at Alexandra Palace to mark the anniversary, including the public being able to tour the studios that were used by the BBC until 1981. Alexandra Palace was the BBC's primary broadcasting base until the late 1950s, but with a break during the Second World War when the transmitter was commandeered to defend London from Nazi bombing raids. Over the years, the venue has hosted broadcasts of various acclaimed shows broadcast by the BBC, including Muffin the Mule and The Open University. 'The BBC's place in the history of Alexandra Palace was sealed when the first public service broadcast in the world was made from the building in 1936,' said Alexandra Park & Palace Trust chairman Matt Cooke. The head of BBC History, Robert Seatter said: 'On this momentous seventy fifth anniversary, we are delighted to be working with Alexandra Palace to open up these unique studios where television really began.' London Mayor Boris Johnson added: 'The seventy fifth anniversary of the world's first television broadcast service by the BBC from Alexandra Palace is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on London's role as a pioneer and innovator.'
The Daily Scum Express's disgraceful right-wing ball of hatred and bigotry the Hickey column has marked the seventy five years since the first BBC broadcast in its own unique way. By whinging about repeats. The diary column notes that the last BBC programme to air before the outbreak of World War II was a Mickey Mouse cartoon on 1 September 1939. 'And the first one after broadcasts returned on 7 June 1946? The same Mickey Mouse cartoon. BBC repeats have been a talking point ever since.' Only with gobshite numskull, faceache right-wing bastards the likes of you, lice-bucket. Still, now that you're owned by a soft-core pornographer, you really don't have the moral authority to accuse pretty much anybody of pretty much anything. Not that you ever did.
But, sadly, it's not just thuggish, jackbooted bully boys on the right of the political spectrum with the publisher of Big Jugs Monthly as their boss and their own sick and venal agenda at work who can be relied upon to get on the BBC's case. More than three hundred whinging viewers, who seemingly haven't got anything better or more constructive to do with their empty, hollow lives than to whinge, have reportedly whinged about Saturday's episode of Strictly Come Dancing. They whinged that the dancing was 'too raunchy', apparently. Jesus, the crap some people chose to care about. The corporation said that three hundred and twenty five viewers had complained about former footballer Robbie Savage's hip-thrusting performance to the Michael Jackson hit 'Bad.' People commenting on the show's blog called it 'disgusting' and 'tasteless.' No, no, no, no, no. Homophobia is disgusting and tasteless. So is racism and bigotry and hatred, political oppression and misappropriation of public funds. What the Scum of the World did with regard to Milly Dowler's mobile phone, that was 'disgusting and tasteless.' 'Some bloke dancing on telly,' really isn't. Not even slightly. And, of course, all of this is doubly ironic since, when he was playing football, Savage often had trouble holding onto the ball. Anyway. The BBC - wearily - defended Savage, saying his routine emulated Jackson's famous dance moves and that 'no offence was intended.' Or, even if it was, who honestly gives a buggering stuff about utter nonsense like that? One viewer posted: 'Robbie Savage's routine was completely out of place on a family show.' Another added: 'Was there really any need for him to thrust his crotch like a badly rehearsed male stripper?' whilst a third wrote: 'Was horrified at Robbie's performance, this is a family show, and to repeat that move three times was over the top!' However, some viewers posted in favour of Savage's performance. 'My absolute favourite, Robbie, was woefully undermarked again by a Craig Revel Horwood intent on sticking to marks [of] five and under,' one person wrote. Another said: 'It was a Michael Jackson number, with a Michael Jackson costume and Michael Jackson moves. You may not like the choreography, but it was in complete keeping with the theme and origin of the song.' A BBC spokesman said: 'Robbie danced a Paso Doble to Michael Jackson's 'Bad.' The choreography emulated some of Michael's famous dance moves and no offence was intended.' He added that the complaints reflected a small - in fact a tiny, minuscule, almost invisible - percentage of the show's peak audience of eleven and a half million viewers. Savage himself entered the controversy on Twitter, despairing at viewers who failed to see his intention behind the 'inappropriate' move. 'So some people thought it was inappropriate to do a Michael Jackson move at 7pm on a Sat night to one of his songs! Why?' he asked. 'Seriously what is the world coming to when on an entertainment show people complain about a famous MJ move which my five year old loves doing!' Savage also said that he believed the complaints to be a personal attack, stating: 'seems I upset two hundred and sixty seven people out of eleven and a half million. Just seems some people have it in for me, nothing new there then.' Saturday's episode of Strictly Come Dancing drew an average overnight audience of 10.2 million viewers compared to rival The X Factor with 9.6 million - the first time that Strictly has beaten the ITV show on overnights for a number of years.

Fantastic use of Harry J All Star's 'The Liquidator' in last night's episode of Death in Paradise, yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought dear blog reader. The episode had an overnight audience of 5.4m on BBc1 from 9pm, a retention of over ninety per cent of the 5.75m overnight for its opening episode which, one imagines the BBC will be delighted with. It's, essentially, Midsomer Murders but in a nicer locale (and with more black people, obviously). As last week, it's not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything but, for what it is, it's rather lovely. The kind of detective drama the BBC used to make all the time before they went down the 'grim and gritty' route. And, as much as this blogger loves Waking The Dead and Luther and [spooks] now and again a bit of whimsy in the format can work wonders. well done to all concerned. it seems to be going down quite well with some of the critics too. The Mirra's Jane Simon noted: 'Do you think it's possible that Death in Paradise was dreamt up as a deliberate poke in the eye to Midsomer Murders? The police team, played by Gary Carr, Danny John-Jules and Sara Martins – and its Caribbean location – wipe the floor with Midsomer's ­chocolate-box prettiness. What's more, its cosily ­old-fashioned take on the whodunit – complete with the obligatory "aha!" moment where all the suspects are ­gathered in a room before the villain is finally unmasked – feels as ­comfortably familiar as a family game of Cluedo.' Gloriously silly and frustratingly compelling was the Metro's comment. 'Death in Paradise may be one of the BBC's sillier recent offerings, but for the most part, viewers should be able to take it at face value and appreciate it for what it is: a welcome injection of fun and colour into our increasingly gloomy autumn evenings.'

Budget cuts to BBC local radio stations will 'harm programme quality,' staff have warned the director general. Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips challenged Mark Thompson at the Radio Festival in Salford. He said reducing the BBC budget by twenty per cent over five years would mean the station losing fifteen of its forty six staff, meaning 'we can't provide quality at all.' Thompson said he would 'look for ways' of making savings which 'minimise the impact on quality.' In other words, he'll do sod all. He denied that local radio or regional TV current affairs had 'in any way been singled out or victimised,' saying the scale of the cuts facing local radio were similar to those being imposed on BBC2. But, not the same as those facing Radio 4 or Radio 3. Or 6Music, which has a listenership approximately one-seventh of that of BBC local radio. Under the savings plans, local stations will share some programmes outside peak times, with a total of two hundred and eighty posts under threat. Stations such as Radio Merseyside and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved BBC Newcastle will continue to broadcast their own shows in the breakfast, mid-morning and drive-time slots. 'We'll keep the presenters there but we can't apply any quality because we'll lose about fifteen staff out of forty six,' Phillips said. 'There's no way we can put any real input into those news and current affairs issues.' Damn straight, brother. Criticising BBC management's decision to treat all local stations equally, he said: 'It is salami slicing. We can't provide quality at all,' he added. 'Our afternoon programme's been protected but we can't provide input.' Highlighting the coverage of the August riots on local stations, BBC Radio Manchester sports editor Sarah Collins said the plan to share shows with neighbouring stations put the relationship with listeners in jeopardy. The riots proved the value of localness,' she said. 'It's what we do every day. Without localness, BBC local radio is nothing. In these difficult times for all of radio, if you dilute localness, then you do it at our peril.' Thompson admitted that 'the impact in terms of jobs in local radio is high.' But referring to the timeslots that account for eighty five per cent of listening, he said: 'We hope that the editorial impact on those key day-parts is going to be manageable.' He pointed to Premier League football, where the BBC currently sends separate commentary teams for Match of the Day, 5Live and two local stations, as one possible area for savings. 'We have four different BBC commentary teams covering one football match,' he said. 'You've at least got to ask yourself the question, in 2011 when every public institution and most private companies are having to cut back, whether sending four commentary teams can still make sense.' Asked about Alan Hansen's reported forty thousand pounds a week salary for presenting Match of the Day, Thompson said: 'I am not familiar with that particular artist's fees and it is not our policy to talk about artist fees so even if I did know I wouldn't answer, even hypothetically. Everyone in broadcasting knows there is a range of different jobs and awards for different jobs. The BBC historically has always wanted to try and get in the mix big stars, big talent for our audiences, whether it was Morecambe and Wise in the 1970s or today.' Asked by Steve Hewlett, presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, where Hansen would go if he was not employed by the BBC, Thompson said: 'Every single case is different. Every single labour market for talent is different. The BBC does it best, where we view it as an opportunity to fill a spot, to encourage an artist to accept a lower fee. We try to do that. The presenter of The Media Show for example.' So, that's effectively 'shut up, Hewlett or you get sacked as well' it would seem. Bet Hewlett loved that. Meanwhile, Thompson also announced a new online venture dubbed 'Audiopedia,' which would make speech programmes from the BBC archive available to download. Users will be able to search for shows by programme, subject or person, he said. The scheme follows the success of putting five hundred archive episodes of Desert Island Discs online, generating a total of five million downloads, while every edition of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time is also available to download. In a separate development, the National Audit Office said that a BBC efficiency drive which saved hundred of millions of pounds could potentially have saved even more money. The NAO report said the corporation cut its annual expenditure by three hundred and ninety six million smackers by the end of 2010-11 following the 2007 licence fee settlement. Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: 'The BBC's efficiency programme is on track while its overall performance, measured in terms of audience, has not declined. The efficiency programme is therefore proving a clear success in the terms set for it. However, it is hard to say whether the target set was stretching enough and the BBC cannot say whether all the savings made amount to real gains in efficiency. To manage within its 2010 licence fee settlement, the BBC must strengthen its approach to targeting savings and create a culture of continually challenging how services are delivered.'

I think we all need cheering up after that shit, so let's have another edition of the nation's favourite pass time of late, Daybreakwatch:-
24 October 608k AI 71
25 October 625k AI 71
26 October 584k AI 72
27 October 615k AI 73
28 October 594k AI 68
Oh dear. And the AIs were almost on the point of reaching 'just about average' there for a moment. BBC Breakfast, meanwhile, continues to pull in audiences of around one and a half million viewers per day.
Phone hacking by Scum of the World and Sun journalists was known about by senior executives at News International even as it was being continuously denied in public by the same people, new evidence has suggested. News International documents released by a Commons committee appear to show that some journalists carried out illegal practices between 2001 and 2003. But in 2008 the parent company was denying the practice went beyond one 'rogue reporter' and would continue to do so until January of this year when their position changed due to the weight of evidence against them. One document suggested that the position was 'fatal to our case.' The Scum of the World's chief lawyer privately told the paper's editor as long ago as 2008 that 'a damning e-mail' existed which appeared to show that the tabloid made use of 'extremely private voicemails' left on the phone of PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor in 2005. Previously, secret internal correspondence which has now been published shows that Tom Crone e-mailed Colin Myler, who had recently taken over as Scum of the World editor from Andy Coulson, in May 2008 to warn him that Taylor's phone-hacking lawsuit 'will succeed' in the light of the information the football executive's legal team had obtained. The Metropolitan police had supplied Taylor's lawyers with 'an e-mail from a News of the World reporter' to the newspaper's private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, 'enclosing a large number of transcripts of voicemails from Taylor's telephone.' This message has subsequently been described as the 'for Neville' e-mail, a note written for the Scum of the World's chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck. Crone later told MPs that the existence of the e-mail was the main reason why the Murdoch-owned publisher agreed to a seven hundred and twenty five thousand smacker confidential settlement of the case – although the company's then-boss, James Murdoch, says that he was 'not made aware' of the e-mail's existence in 2008. A separate briefing note, prepared by Michael Silverleaf QC for Tom Crone in June, showed that this Met police material proved that 'at least three' Scum of the World journalists, Greg Miskiw, Ross Hindley and a third, who is not named, 'appear to have been intimately involved' in what was described as 'illegal researching into Mr Taylor's affairs.' At that time, only one Scum of the World journalist, former royal editor Clive Goodman, had been accused of phone-hacking. Goodman, along with Mulcaire who carried out the hacking on his behalf, had been convicted and sent to jail in 2007. News International executives consistently denied that they had been aware that any other reporters were implicated in alleged hacking until January 2011, and Goodman was described as a 'rogue reporter' on several occasions by News International executives, publicly. However, the now-released internal correspondence shows that the company knew full well of evidence that Mulcaire worked for reporters other than Goodman. Crone, writing to Colin Myler in May 2008, wrote: 'This evidence, particularly the e-mail from the News of the World is fatal to our case,' he added in an e-mail, referring to News International's defence of Taylor's infringement of privacy case. 'Our position is very perilous. The damning e-mail is genuine and proves we actively made use of a large number of extremely private voicemails from Taylor's telephone in June/July 2005 and that this was pursuant to a February 2005 contract, ie a five-to-six-month operation. He has no evidence that the News of the World continued to act illegally after that but he can prove Mulcaire continued to access his mobile until May 2006 (because Mulcaire pleaded guilty to it).' Crone's e-mail to Myler was published online on Tuesday as part of a revealing tranche of documents relating to Scum of the World phone- hacking given to the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. Other documents Taylor's lawyers had obtained from evidence the Metropolitan police had seized from the home of Mulcaire, included a contract to pay Mulcaire seven thousand pounds for 'information about Taylor's private life.' They had also secured from the information commissioner 'a list of named News of the World journalists and a detailed table of data protection infringements between 2001 and 2003,' seized during a raid on another private investigator. A note from Tom Crone explained what he thought the implications of this information was: 'A number of those names are still with us and some of them have moved to prominent position on the News of the World and the Sun. Typical infringements are "turning round" car reg and mobile phone numbers (illegal),' Crone wrote. News International made a seven hundred and twenty five thousand quid settlement with Taylor later in 2008. John Whittingdale, the chairman of the select committee says that the documents are 'proof' that senior managers at the Scum of the World were 'aware for a long time' of evidence that phone-hacking was widespread at the tabloid and yet still continued to insist, publicly, that the only phone-hacking they knew about was down to Goodman and, if anyone else was involved, they knew naaaaathing. 'This contradicts the evidence given to us previously and we shall be asking about this when James Murdoch comes before the committee,' Whittingdale said.
Myler and Crone told the committee in September that they had made Murdoch aware at a 10 June 2008 meeting that hacking was not restricted to a single journalist. They claimed this was the sole reason Murdoch then agreed to settle the Gordon Taylor's case. James Murdoch subsequently wrote to the committee to strenuously deny this. MPs will want to establish if Murdoch saw Silverleaf's opinion when they question him next week, although News International insisted on Tuesday that Murdoch was made aware of its existence only 'several weeks' ago. Murdoch told MPs in July that he did 'not remember' the earlier meeting, but Farrer & Co has released a copy of a note made by its partner Julian Pike of a telephone conversation with Myler in which the former editor revealed what he claimed to have discussed with Murdoch in May 2008. It appears to show that Myler told Pike on 27 May 2008 – several days after his first meeting with Murdoch – that they had 'agreed' to seek Silverleaf's opinion before deciding whether to settle the case. The note refers to allegations made at the time by Goodman that 'other staff' were also guilty of intercepting voicemails. 'James wld [sic] say get rid of them – cut out the cancer,' the note reads. The Gruniad notes that 'sources' allegedly close to News International have highlighted that comment as evidence that Murdoch would have sacked any journalists who were guilty of wrongdoing had it been brought to his attention when the meeting took place.

Last year, the great Robert Englund (Freddie in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies) was cast as a potential bogeyman red-herring in the 2010 Hallow'een episode on Bones. This week, the great Robert Englund turned up as a potential bogeyman red-herring in the 2011 Hallow'een episode of Hawaii Five-0. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, Robert?
Quite a decent episode it was too. Apart, tragically, for the first appearance this series of Danno's really annoying daughter.

The TV industry faces a further wait for Sunday and Monday's overnight ratings after the weekend's clock change from the end of British Summer Time disrupted BARB's reporting system. Sunday's figures, expected at 9.30am on Monday morning, were not delivered and the delay has had a knock-on effect to Monday's data. The latest estimates suggest that both sets of ratings will not be delivered until 'some point today.' The problems are the result of UK clocks being pushed back an hour and it is understood that it is not the first time BARB has been affected by the change. The delay means a continued wait to see if Strictly Come Dancing beat The X Factor for a second time on Sunday (unlikely). It also not yet known how E4's superhero drama Misfits fared on its return as well as how Channel Four's uncompromising, drug centred drama Top Boy performed on Monday. A BARB spokeswoman acknowledged that the problem was the result of the clock change, which caused a small and unforeseen 'glitch' in its reporting system. She added that no data would be lost and that normal service will 'resume shortly.'

Speaking of some of the ratings that we do have, Doc Martin has finished its latest series with an overnight series average of 8.64 million, second only to Downton Abbey in drama this year. Compared to 2009, this is up 0.13m. It's had a more consistent run too, with all overnight audiences between 8.4 and 8.9m. million. In 2009, it went as low as 7.2m for one episode but as high as 9.5m for the series finale.

Tony and Cherie Blair's former lifestyle consultant Carole Caplin has won 'substantial' libel damages from the Daily Scum Mail at the High Court. Which is, of course, very satisfying. Caplin sued the alleged newspaper and bigoted ball of hate after it published an article headed Carole's One Million Pound Question: Will she tell all about the Blairs' sex secrets? Outside the court Caplin said that this was 'offensive, damaging and wrong.' It has also been revealed that she was a victim of the Scum of the World phone-hacking scandal. Caplin, forty nine, who runs Cool Health Ltd, said over seventeen years she had endured, without comment, a succession of articles full of 'hurtful innuendo, wild imaginings and totally groundless allegations. However, I felt I had to take action over this particular Daily Mail [article]. That I would break the trust that clients have the right to expect from me, for financial reward, is offensive, damaging and wrong.' Caplin's barrister, David Price QC, had told the court in London that the article alleged Caplin might have been about to reveal intimate details about the Blairs in a book. He said that she had never had any intention of disclosing any confidential information about the couple. 'It was claimed that Ms Caplin had insisted that Mrs Blair tell her every last detail of their sex life and that publication of these revelations would "blow the lid" on the Blairs' marriage and finish them. The article also suggested that Ms Caplin had financial difficulties and that she would receive significant financial reward for her book.' But as she had stated 'consistently and unequivocally' over several years she never had any intention of disclosing any confidential information concerning the Blairs. In any event, Ms Caplin does not possess any sex secrets or other information that could "finish" them,' he said, adding that Caplin was not in any financial difficulties. Price said the article 'may also have been understood' to mean that 'massages given by Ms Caplin to Mr Blair' were 'in some way improper.' He said there was no basis for such an allegation and added: 'The defendant has stated that it did not intend to convey such an impression and has apologised if this was the case.' Associated Newspapers - owners of the Daily Scum Mail - had made an 'offer of amends' and the offer had been accepted by Caplin, who was at the hearing. Caplin had been paid 'a substantial sum in damages to be assessed if not agreed' and her legal costs. In a separate development Caplin told reporters that she has been informed by police that her mobile phone messages were hacked by a private investigator working for the Scum of the World. The alleged hacking, by Glenn Mulcaire, occurred in 2002 when well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks (then Wade) was the newspaper's editor. The Evening Standard's Gideon Spanier notes that: 'There is no doubt that the News of the World was interested in Caplin at the time. Those with long memories will recall film-maker Lynn Alleway's BBC1 fly-on-the-wall documentary about Caplin and her notorious boyfriend Peter Foster, who controversially helped Mrs Blair to buy a flat. In one memorable scene from the 2003 film, called The Conman, His Lover and the Prime Minister's Wife, News of the World editor Rebekah Wade's voice could be heard negotiating with Foster over the phone to buy up his story. But Caplin was seen urging him not to talk, writing a note that said: "Don't rise to any bait or seduction." It is important to note that Wade, now Rebekah Brooks, has always said she had no knowledge or involvement in hacking at the paper.' A spokeswoman for Caplin said hers was one of the earliest chronological cases so far discovered, and that the police investigation had yet to uncover all the available evidence. 'Once she is able to establish the extent of this invasion of her privacy, Ms Caplin will decide what further action to take,' she added.

The UK has issued a direct challenge to China and Russia over regulation of the Internet, with William Hague insisting that cyberspace must not be 'stifled by government control or censorship.' In a strongly worded opening address to an international conference hosted in London, the foreign secretary told delegates that the Internet 'must remain open and not become ghettoised' – rebuffing the notion that new international treaties were needed to police online activity. 'Nothing would be more fatal or self-defeating than the heavy hand of state control on the Internet, which only thrives because of the talent of individuals and of industry within an open market for ideas and innovation,' he said. Hague told delegates that cyberspace should not be 'subject to separate rules and processes in different regions set by isolated national services, with state-imposed barriers to trade, commerce and the free flow of information and ideas.' This, he said, would be deeply counter-productive. Both China and Russia have pushed for new international treaties governing cyberspace. China has also been heavily criticised for censoring the Internet by blocking news or comment that it deems damaging - notably all BBC sites. Something which many scum member of Mr Hague's own scum party would rather like to see happen in the UK. Bastards. This summer, David Cameron appeared to blame social media for the spread of the London riots, raising the prospect that ministers may try to shut down sites such as Twitter during times of social unrest. Or, basically, any time they felt like it. Hague, though, said that it was his 'passionate conviction that all human rights should carry full force online.' He added: 'Not just the right to privacy, but the right to freedom of expression. Human rights are universal. Cultural differences are not an excuse to water down human rights. We reject the view that government suppression of the Internet, phone networks and social media at times of unrest is acceptable.'
The London Conference on Cyberspace was the brainchild of Hague, and delegates from more than sixty countries, as well as pioneers of the Internet, such as the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, and the president of Facebook, Joanna Shields, among the speakers. Cybercrime, the spread of damaging malware, and the use of cyber warfare by states have pushed questions about the rules governing the Internet to the fore. The conference is a first attempt to get all interested parties around the table to discuss potential ways forward, though it is not expected that anything binding will emerge during, or in the immediate aftermath, of the two-day meeting. In his speech, Hague acknowledged that 'many of the countries and representatives here will have very different views. But the reasons to co-operate are far more compelling than the issues that divide us.' He linked global prosperity to the expansion of the Internet but warned of its dangers too. Hague said online crime was 'growing exponentially' and claimed that more than six million unique types of new malware were detected by industry in the first three months of this year alone. This activity was making it harder to protect people, and countries with weak cyber defences also made themselves vulnerable to state-sponsored attacks. But Hague said the answer to these issues did not lie in repression. He said Britain will 'always be on the side of people aspiring for political and economic freedom, in the Middle East and around the world. In the place of today's cyber free-for-all, we need rules of the road.' Without them, 'a darker scenario' could well prevail, he said. Individuals, companies and states would all suffer. Concluding the speech, he set out the varied problems the world was facing. 'Rising costs to business from cyber crime, companies being held to ransom by hacktivists, and the theft of intellectual property sapping prosperity and innovation. For individuals, a heightened risk of exposure to crime as efforts to clamp down on crimes such as child pornography in one part of the world are rendered ineffective by illegal practices on networks in other countries. Disruption in service due to state intrusion or crude censorship in some parts of the world, the general uncertainty, fear and loss of confidence in a compromised cyberspace. And for governments, threats to critical infrastructure, the loss of tax revenue or the defrauding of government services, the theft of confidential national information and vulnerability to attacks in cyberspace. If these scenarios come to pass, they will undermine the wider benefits of our networked world.'

Top Boy, the Channel Four drama about life on a Hackney estate, got a mixed reception in the Observer despite the show being written by Ronan Bennett, whose other half is Gruniad executive Georgina Henry. 'A panel of locals' watched it but the Observer claim they found 'plenty of flaws in Bennett's supposedly realistic portrayal.' And a writer from another Sunday paper claims Bennett ended a phone interview very abruptly as he didn't like being asked repeatedly how a white, middle-class man was able to write about a Hackney estate. It's called 'research', fellah.

She is the detective loved almost as much for her knitwear as her investigative abilities. But for the much-anticipated second series of the Danish crime drama The Killing, Sarah Lund almost ditched her trademark Faroese sweater. 'I love that sweater and I hate it. I felt it was so strong it was almost wearing me, rather than the opposite,' admitted Sofie Gråbøl, who plays the single-minded detective in the programme, which was a genuine crossover BBC4 hit on Saturday nights earlier this year. Gråbøl swapped the distinctive patterned jumper because friends were asking about it before inquiring about the fate of Lund herself. 'It was the first question every time, and I got so: "Who cares! Why don't you ask what's going to happen with the character?" Every time that question.' But while Lund starts her second adventure – to be shown on BBC4 from 19 November – wearing a new red woolly number, by episode four Gråbøl had relented and the original was reinstated. 'I feel at home in that jumper,' she joked. The first series of The Killing, or Forbrydelsen in Danish, proved a critical and ratings success earlier this year, beating audience figures for Mad Men, BBC4's glossy US import, and winning a BAFTA for best international series. The second season will do battle with The X Factor, as Saturday nights are once more given over to Lund's dark, rainy adventures in Copenhagen. But at a mere ten hour-long episodes, The Killing II runs at only half the length of the first series. That is largely to do with the story, said Gråbøl. 'The plot is much more complex than the first season. The plot is the main focus but our task for ourselves was how far into [Lund's] own darkness we could get.' The show's producer, Piv Bernth, who was speaking with Gråbøl after a screening of the new series at BAFTA headquarters, in central London, said the ten-episode format helps keep the programme gripping. '[With] the first twenty episodes, there were some that were a little repetitious. So the tension of ten episodes is very, very good,' she said. The new series sees Lund, her life destroyed after the Nanna Birk Larsen case of Forbrydelsen I, working on an investigation that involves national politics, the military and Islamist terrorism. It was the strength of that story which persuaded Gråbøl to return to the character of Lund for a second series, despite initial reservations that included worries about failing to live up to expectations. 'When we finished the first show I never considered there to be a second one,' the actor said. 'When [I was] asked to do a second one, at first I thought: "No, Why?" But then after a while, and Sarah Lund had a really great story, I thought: "Yes lets do it."' It is Lund's damaged character that appeals to Gråbøl as an actor, and arguably to audiences. In the first episode of the show, which features the unlikely addition of artificial rain, despite the grey Danish weather, a withdrawn Lund is working at a cargo port in southern Denmark, her self-confidence at almost zero. 'If you had a perfect, harmonic, strong, beautiful character how do you identify?' asked Gråbøl. 'I think most actors have a strange sadistic relationship to their character. You want them to hurt actually. You want them to be put in difficult situations. You don't want the best for them.' Gråbøl has since signed up to a third and final series, currently in production and due to be broadcast in Denmark next autumn. It is the first time the team have worked together since Forbrydelsen's international success. 'When we got the BAFTA we were so impressed, so happy, so proud and it really turned us upside down,' said Bernth. Despite the show's enormous success in Denmark, where the finale had an audience share of more than seventy per cent, the producer admitted that international success had resulted in increased pressure. 'We try really hard to keep it out, we really try to have a tunnel vision of what we're doing,' she said. 'Of course it is distracting every once in a while.' So successful has the show been, in fact, that Gråbøl has filmed a cameo for the BBC's new Absolutely Fabulous. 'I'd love to come and work here,' the actor said, when asked about future projects. The programme's success has also had an effect beyond the careers of those involved. 'The Killing is a huge PR-scoop for Denmark,' said Danish ambassador Anne Hedensted Steffensen. 'It has created a buzz around our capital Copenhagen as a travel destination and has also attracted its many British fans to Danish fashion, design and crime fiction. I think the character of detective Sarah Lund and the unique atmosphere of the series have inspired people to find out more about our country, which is wonderful.'

BBC1 comedy Come Fly With Me, by David Walliams and Matt Lucas, leads this year's Royal Television Society awards shortlist despite the fact that it simply wasn't very funny. The comic duo also star in the show, based around a variety of supposedly colourful characters who work at an airport. The programme is up for best costume, best make-up, best original title music and best graphic design titles. BBC2's drama The Crimson Petal And The White, and the Morecambe and Wise drama Eric And Ernie both picked up three nominations. They are both up for best costume design in drama, alongside Channel Four's This Is England '86. Psychological thriller The Crimson Petal And The White, which was based in Victorian London, was also shortlisted for best make-up design for drama and best production design. Eric and Ernie, which told the backstory of comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise from their first meeting as teenagers, received a total three nominations, including best make-up and best picture enhancement. There were also nominations for Strictly Come Dancing's Halloween special, the sixth series of Twatting About On Ice, The X Factor and The Hour. The annual awards recognise the skills used behind the scenes in production, from costume design to digital effects. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place at London's Savoy Hotel and will be hosted by the odious, hateful horrorshow faceache (and drag) Myleene Klass.

Channel Four has confirmed a second series order of Ten O'Clock Live, the supposedly satirical take on the week's news featuring Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell, but has tweaked the show's format and cut its running time to forty five minutes. The live programme, which broadcasts on a Thursday night and aims to lure younger viewers turned off by Newsnight and Question Time, retains its four original presenters, with the great Charlie Brooker and Wor Luscious Lovely Lauren Laverne again joining Carr and Mitchell. The show was, it has to be said, something of a curate egg with odd moments of casual brilliance (mainly from Brooker, and to a lesser extent Mitchell) but it often couldn't seem to make up its mind exactly what it was trying to achieve. And it was also, just as often, nowhere near as funny as it clearly thought it was. It will return to Channel Four in early 2012. The first series of Ten O'Clock Live, which began in January and ran for fifteen episodes, launched with 1.9m viewers to a generally positive critical reaction. It featured interviews with politicians and cultural commentators, as well as debates and sketches. But by the end of the run its average audience had dropped to below one million, as the show's writers struggled to keep producing engaging new material to fill an hour of airtime each week. To combat that, the next series will run for ten episodes of forty five minutes, which Channel Four said would 'still allow for an in-depth look at the news stories but will mean we're less dependent on the news cycle.' Darren Smith, the channel's commissioning editor for entertainment, said: 'After learning from the first series, we're keen to cover the same kinds of stories, with a similarly acerbic angle but will be making efforts to make the running order a little more flexible. That means we will have regular items but you perhaps won't see them every single week. It's a slightly more bespoke approach to the news agenda that gives the show room to breathe, and hopefully room to be even funnier. We're thrilled to be back in this territory again, especially with such an enormously talented lineup. I don't think a show like this could exist anywhere else but C4.'

Bones showrunner Stephen Nathan has claimed that the romance between Booth and Brennan feels 'organic.' Or, perhaps he said 'orgasmic' and just got misquotes. The pair will finally get together in the final episode of the FOX drama's seventh season, after Brennan (Emily Deschanel) revealed to Booth (David Boreanaz) that she is pregnant with his child. 'I think to us, it was somewhat organic,' Nathan told The TV Addict. 'We just continued to write Booth and Brennan in the same way, which were two completely disparate characters who agreed on very little on the surface.' He continued: 'Only now, they're dealing with a pregnancy and a relationship. So, it really seemed to be a natural extension of the previous six years of Bones.' Fellow executive producer, and show creator, Hart Hanson added that Deschanel's real-life pregnancy had helped to push the Booth-Brennan relationship forward. 'Stephen and I had to talk all of the time,' he explained. 'What replaces unrequited sexual tension? What interesting dynamic replaces that? And it's a tough one. Emily came and said, "I'm pregnant" [and] at that moment we knew what replaced sexual tension was an actual human being.'

Writer Anthony Horowitz says there is still a question mark over which Tintin book will be adapted for the sequel to Steven Spielberg's chart-topping film. Horowitz said earlier this year he had penned a script based partly on Herge's Tintin story Prisoners Of The Sun. 'That was true a few months ago,' Horowitz told the BBC, 'but I can tell you that I think the second film is not going to be Prisoners of the Sun. What it is going to be is still under discussion.' He added: 'I've had meetings with the directors and producers and we've talked about ideas and action sequences. At the moment I'm trying to put together a story that will please everybody. It's a very difficult one to do.' The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is currently top of the UK and Ireland box office. The motion-capture 3D blockbuster stars Jamie Bell as Herge's young roving reporter, alongside a largely British cast which also includes Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Andy Serkis. The screenplay for the first film was written by Doctor Who and Sherlock's Steven Moffat, Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright and Attack the Block's Joe Cornish. Peter Jackson, who produced the first film, is set to direct the Tintin sequel once he has finished work on The Hobbit movies. Earlier reports had suggested that the second film would be based on both Prisoners Of The Sun and its predecessor The Seven Crystal Balls. Horowitz, whose Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk was published this week, confirmed that he would be writing the second film but was yet to begin work on the script. He said: 'I am a huge Tintin fan. I grew up on him and I'm looking to getting stuck in on this, but we're a little distant yet from actually having a script. The good news is if [Prisoners Of The Sun] is not the second film, it'll be the third film so actually I could end up with two Tintins under my belt.' Horowitz's TV writing credits include Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Robin of Sherwood and Foyles War. He is also the writer of the Alex Rider series of spy novels, and adapted the first - Stormbreaker - for the big screen in 2006.

Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been found guilty of plotting to fix parts of a Test match last year after a lucrative betting scam. Sally Walsh, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said that the players had 'brought shame on the cricket world' through their actions and 'jeopardised the faith and admiration of cricket fans the world over.' She added that their actions 'went against everything expected of someone in their position and they failed to take into account their fans of all ages and nationalities when deciding to abandon the values of sportsmanship so unconditionally.' The senior lawyer added: 'The jury has decided, after hearing all of the evidence, that what happened at the crease that day was criminal in the true sense of the word.' DCS Matt Horne, of the Metropolitan Police, said what had happened was 'cheating, pure and simple. I think we all look forward to sport being played in its truest spirit as we go forward with these types of issues,' he added. DCS Horne also acknowledged the investigative journalism that led to the trial. While the jury unanimously convicted Butt and Asif for cheating, on the second charge of accepting illegal payments, both were separately found guilty by a ten-to-two majority. The maximum sentence for cheating is two years in jail and an unlimited fine, while accepting corrupt payments carries a sentence of up to seven years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. During the twenty-day trial, prosecutors alleged that the trio had plotted to deliberately bowl no-balls in a Test match between Pakistan and England last year. They were accused after a sting operation by the subsequently disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World newspaper taped a conversation with a players' agent, Mazhar Majeed, in which he claimed he could arrange for Pakistani players to fix matches for money. The court heard that significant sums of money are made by rigging games or elements of matches for illegal betting syndicates - a process known as spot-fixing. A journalist with the Scum of the World approached Majeed in August last year posing as a wealthy Indian businessman seeking international cricketers for a tournament. Majeed claimed he had been fixing matches for two and a half years, that he had seven players from the Pakistani team co-operating with him and that he had made 'masses and masses of money.' The agent was clandestinely filmed accepting one hundred and fifty thousand smackers in cash from the journalist as part of a 'spot-fixing' arrangement. The prosecution argued that Butt, Asif and Amir conspired with Majeed to send down three pre-planned no-balls at specific times during the Test. Butt and Asif pleaded that while Majeed had asked them to get involved in fixing, they had refused to do so. They also maintained they were unaware of any alleged understanding to bowl pre-determined no-balls. Butt and Asif both strenuously denied any involvement in match-fixing throughout the four-week trial. Explaining why he bowled a no-ball at Lord’s precisely when Majeed said he would, Asif claimed that Butt told him, 'run faster, fucker,' moments before his delivery. The jury was not told that the teenage Amir has already confessed his part in the malarkey. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool reporting from Lahore on reaction to the court verdict said that conspiracy theories were soon being aired across Pakistan. 'The West just wants to destroy the image of Pakistan,' he quoted a man called Zahim, a cricket fan eating at a restaurant outside Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, as saying. 'I think the Indians are involved too. We need to get to the real truth.' Yeah. A tip, Zahim. Tin foil hats prevent the transmission of the radio signals from the CIA very effectively. It is likely that in the coming days many others, including some in the media, will say they too feel Pakistani cricketers have been unfairly victimised instead of accepting that they are rascals, cheats, scoundrels and liars and being glad that they got caught trying to prostitute the beautiful game. During these difficult times for Pakistan denial is often a handy way of cloaking abject disappointment, humiliation and a sense of betrayal in so many facets of life, including cricket. When pushed, however, most Pakistanis will acknowledge that some of their former heroes must have been engaged in some form of corruption, and that they feel angry because of it. 'What these guys have done, this involvement in betting, has blackened Pakistan's name,' said Najam, another cricket fan. 'They also put the whole nation through the shock. They must be punished and punished severely.' To understand how much it has hurt Pakistanis one has to first understand what the game of cricket means to the Pakistani people. Perhaps more than any other country - including their fierce rivals India - cricket has played a huge role in representing Pakistan on the world stage. In the past, their cricketers have given Pakistanis pride and the sport has united this often disparate nation. Last year, after the worst floods in the country's history and after a spate of bomb attacks, the cricket scandal arguably dealt as severe a blow as any to the morale of the nation. 'I've felt deeply let down by the scandals we have seen,' said Shehryar Khan, who was chairman of Pakistan's cricket board between 2003 and 2006. He said that it has been a poor reflection of society. 'Look at life in Pakistan and what do you see? You see corruption, you see people trying to make money overnight and unfortunately what the cricketers see around them is responsible for their behaviour.' Khan added the fact that many of the players are from under-privileged backgrounds has had a hand in some of them taking the huge sums of money on offer for cheating. But he also says that the team management must take some of the blame for not nurturing the players properly and for allowing corruption to take place under their noses. 'They handled the issue very badly,' he added. 'They left cricketers thinking they could do something wrong, they could even get caught, but through influence or public opinion they could get out of it. Pakistan has to start with a clean slate, with discipline, and move in a direction that is far, far removed from this sordid business.' Certainly, in terms of cricket there has been no worse a time in Pakistan, and not just because of spot-fixing. A militant attack on the team bus of the touring Sri Lankan squad in Lahore in the spring of 2009 meant that international teams have stopped coming to the country. All of Pakistan's international matches are now played abroad - their forthcoming test and one day series against England will be held in Dubai, for instance. Those wanting to watch live cricket in Pakistan now instead of just on television have to make do with domestic matches. 'There's no doubt Pakistani cricket has struggled,' said Fahad ul Haq, a batsman playing for the Lahore Shalimar team in a match against Quetta. 'There has been no international cricket played here for the past two or three years, and this spot-fixing issue has put a question mark over us. We are viewed with suspicion when we go abroad.' Kashif Mehmood Butt, Lahore Shalimar's wicket-keeper, added: 'I have personally seen the effects of the scandal. Pakistani domestic players trying to get contracts in leagues in the UK are finding it difficult because of this whole spot-fixing incident.' But both Fahad and Kashif say they feel things will eventually improve. Whether they agree with the verdict or not, Pakistanis will be hoping the end of the trial in London will close this traumatic chapter for Pakistan cricket. But inside many will fear it is only a matter of time before the issue of corruption arises again. Other players' names came up in the trial as being possibly involved in manipulating aspects of the game in return for money too - specifically Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz. Both strenuously deny any wrongdoing. Just as Butt, Asif and Amir did. How the authorities in Pakistan deal with those allegations in the coming days and weeks may give us an indication of whether or not Pakistan really will, finally, take this issue seriously and be able to control corruption in its most loved sport.

Bob Willis - with his cold, dead eyes - believes that a prison sentence for any of the Pakistan cricketers guilty of conspiring to fix part of last year's Lord's Test with England would 'reverberate around the world.' But, particularly in the pants of the chap or chaps sent down, one imagines. The former England captain said that custodial terms would act as a deterrent to anyone tempted to get involved in spot-fixing in the future. Willis told Sky Sports News: 'The only positive aspect is it looks as though a custodial sentence will be handed out. There can't be any stronger message than that. We've had life bans, but we haven't really had players sent to prison before. For the first time we may see custodial sentences. There's one thing being fined, there's another thing being banned from the game for a period of time. A lot of these so-called life bans were rescinded, people were back playing in the space of two or three years. I think a prison sentence would reverberate around the world and I think the first thing that would happen is there would be far less likelihood of any corruption or fixing of a match taking place in the UK because this is a precedent that's been set down in this country. It hasn't happened anywhere else yet but it's certainly a warning signal going right through the world of cricket.' So, there you go - a man who worships at the temple of Saint Bob Dylan himself rejecting the lyrical insight of 'I Shall Be Released' in favour, it would seem, of the more conservative opening lines of 'Desolation Row.' They are, indeed, selling postcards to the hanging. Have you considered a career in judging, Robert? Blimey, they'd love you, so they would. The allegations centred around a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test, which took place in August last year, as part of a lucrative betting scam. Willis admitted it could be quite easy to get sucked into, particularly on the sub-continent. He said: 'I don't think we understand that much in this country about the betting systems in South East Asia and the illegal betting in the sub-continent. We can't fathom the sums of money involved and it must still be tempting - despite all these life bans and a possible custodial sentence in this instance - to get involved in match or, more likely, spot-fixing because they are coerced into it and once they are in that spider's web it's very difficult to crawl out. One doesn't quite know the pressure that these young people are put under when they're first introduced. Mr A introduces Mr B and there's an innocent cricketer maybe having a drink in a bar or a coffee in town somewhere. And all of a sudden, these little thoughts - we go back to Mark Waugh and Shane Warne all those years ago. "All we want to know is a weather forecast" and they start saying "It's not raining at the ground" and then the questions get more detailed. "Do you think you'll bat or bowl if you win the toss?" and on it goes and people get hooked in. The problem I think, particularly with Pakistan, is that relative to most other cricketers around the world, the players aren't very highly paid. The Indian players now, particularly with the IPL added into the equation, most of them are millionaires. Not many Pakistani cricketers are.'

David Cameron might fancy the UK's chances of becoming the Silicon Valley of Europe, but he could learn a lot from the love-bombing Irish who are streets ahead in attracting the world's leading Internet companies to Dublin's docklands, which may as well be rebranded Silicon Docks. Last week, the Irish pulled out all the stops to show one hundred and fifty Internet, tech, and bank bosses a good time at f.ounders, an event quickly dubbed 'Davos for geeks.' The event obviously included lots of important panel discussions about the future of the digital world, but what really mattered were the little things, like Mr Bonio from The U2 Group showing up on your pub crawl. As you do. Even the general manager of Twitter, Tony Wang, queued up to get his photo taken and tweeted it. The U2 Group frontman led about thirty of the world's most important Internet executives through the streets of Dublin to the next stop on their itinerary, Trinity College's Dining Hall. Mr Bonio out of The U2 Group may not pay his taxes but if any of these companies invest in Ireland, he can take a little of the credit.

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (and third in the league) Newcastle United and Sammy Ameobi have called in police after the teenage striker was reportedly the subject of some vile racist abuse on Twitter over the weekend. The comment was made - by some no doubt thoroughly perfect specimen of humanity - on Sunday and the offending account has now been deleted. A club statement said: 'The club and Sammy have reported the matter to the police, who are now dealing with the incident. The racist comment is wholly unacceptable. Newcastle will not tolerate racism of any kind and will take the strongest possible action against those responsible.' Sadly, that'll probably just amount to some legal action and the banning of the individual concerned from St James' Park instead of, as it should mean, horsewhipping the numskull racist sod through the streets for all to see. From The North condemns racism in all its forms not just because this blogger is a Newcastle United fan, or a football fan in general but because I'm a human being. Racism is wrong. End of. Sammy, nineteen, the younger brother of Shola Ameobi, has made a dramatic rise into the United first team squad since making his debut as a substitute against Chelsea at the end of last season. He appeared as a late substitute in Monday night's 3-1 Premier League victory at Stoke. Newcastle's statement comes at a time when both the Football Association and the police are reported to be investigating allegations that Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand was the subject of alleged racist comments by the Chelsea and England captain John Terry last week.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day a necessary reminder that life remains full of temptations. Here are but five of them. And proof that, you know, white kids just ain't got the rhythm.

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