Thursday, November 24, 2011

To Love You, Love You, Love You, Love You

We start off today's bloggerisationisms with the latest chapter of what appears to be the single most important media story of the year; that is, if the sheer amount of coverage it's received in newspapers and the Internet over the last few days is any indication. So ... apparently, the dog's name is Fenton, not Benton. And, on that bombshell ...

Karen Gillan has said that she doubts any future acting role will be more fun than Doctor Who. 'It's been so amazing,' she told the Evening Standard. 'I don't think I will ever have a job quite so fun ever again.' Gillan recently said that she will not make regular cameo appearances in Doctor Who once she leaves the series. 'I don't want Amy to pop up again every so often, because for me it would take away from the big, emotional goodbye,' she said. 'Once she's gone, she's gone. I want people to remember the Amy Pond era as a good one.' Gillan plays sixties supermodel Jean Shrimpton (see right) in upcoming BBC4 biopic We'll Take Manhattan and was recently contacted by the real life sixty nine-year-old Shrimpton. 'She left a lovely message saying she really enjoyed it,' Gillan added to the newspaper. 'David Bailey loved it too. And they're really honest people so that means something to me.' Of her stage debut in Inadmissible Evidence at London's Donmar, Gillan said: 'It really opened my eyes to so many things. It's good experience to get an instant response, the buzz, adrenaline. There's nothing like that feeling. It's a really scary thing to do.'

Many thanks to my good friend Danny Blythe in pointing out the following. Just to prove that crass whinging of 'it's not as good as it used to be' variety from the darker corners of fandom are, by no means, a new phenomena. Here is the Gruniad Morning Star's reviewer having a right good sour-faced whinge about Doctor Who's first two episodes - An Unearthly Child and The Cave of Skulls - on 30 November 1963.
I'll bet Mary never got invited to any of the cool kids parties. But, it does go to prove that some things, it would seem, never change. The Gruniad's inability to know its arse from its elbow being, you know, one of them!

The BBC has come under further pressure to reverse its proposal - and idiotic - cuts to local TV and radio after an MP said that the proposals 'threaten the existence' of regional public service broadcasting. Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP for Newcastle Central, said that there had already been a 'steady diminution in the quality and availability' of regional programmes across the BBC and commercial television. She said the twenty per cent cuts proposed to BBC local radio and forty per cent cost savings being required of the BBC's regional TV current affairs programme, Inside Out, amounted to 'drastic cuts' in the corporation's commitment to reflect and strengthen regional identities in the UK. Responding to Onwurah's concerns, the lack of culture minister, Ed Vaizey, said that MPs' concerns expressed at a Westminster Hall debate last month had already had a 'very significant impact' on the BBC - although how he knew this, he didn't elaborate. But, he stopped short of suggesting that the corporation was about to make a U-turn. 'U-turn if you want to...' someone from his party once said, I seem to remember. 'I am not privy to the thinking of the BBC or any changes they might be thinking of having,' Vaizey noted, making an utter nonsense of his earlier comments. 'But, I would assure my honourable members that I think the BBC has listened to those concerns,' he concluded. 'Think'? Politicians think? Don't do that, mate, you're not very good at it. Expressing broad support for the BBC's Delivering Quality First proposals, Vaizey added: 'The BBC does a fantastic job but everyone is having to make savings.' Both the BBC's director general Mark Thompson and chief operating officer Caroline Thomson (no relation) have alluded to a possible reversal of at least some of the planned cuts in recent days. Onwurah, who called a private members' debate at Westminster Hall on Wednesday, said: 'There can be no doubt the existence of regional public service broadcasting is dependent on BBC funding yet the BBC cuts include a forty per cent cut in investigative programming. It is not an exaggeration to say these cuts threaten the existence of public service broadcasting in the North-East.' Onwurah said Inside Out, which broadcasts on BBC1 on Monday night, was 'the last remaining regional programme of its type' in the North-East and the reduction in its budget was 'particularly worrying. Investigative journalism supported by the BBC is essential to understanding what is going on in our region which will not be raised by the national media,' she added. One of Inside Out's London presenters, Matthew Wright, last week described the programme's proposed budget cut as 'a joke.' It came after the BBC's director of news, Helen Boaden, last month allegedly told staff on the programme to 'grow up' when they quizzed her about the cuts and told them: 'We could have killed you off.' Nice. Onwurah said that cuts to BBC local radio would have 'a disproportionate effect' on older people, with more than a third of listeners to BBC Newcastle aged over sixty five. She neglected to mention that the station is also an award-winning one, just a few weeks ago being named as the winners of the 2011 Gillard award. She said there would also be a two-thirds cut in the BBC's local weather presenters, with many bulletins now due to be prerecorded. Onwurah said it was ironic that the regional cuts, part of BBC director general Mark Thompson's Delivering Quality First proposals to save seven hundred million knicker, were coming as the corporation moved more staff to its new BBC North HQ in Salford. But, she warned that the BBC North centre was 'no substitute' for a BBC presence in the North-East. 'For my constituents Manchester is a long way south,' said the MP. 'Apparently when Caroline Thomson visited Newcastle recently she was surprised to learn that it takes longer to get from Newcastle to Salford [by rail] than it does from Newcastle to London.' You can read the full text of Ms Onwurah's debate here.
News International has come under pressure to explain how it obtained Kate McCann's private diaries and published them without permission in the Scum of the World in September 2008. Gerry McCann, the father of missing Madeleine, demanded a fresh investigation into the publication of the diaries in a powerful two-hour testimony before the Leveson inquiry into media ethics on Wednesday. His wife Kate sat with him throughout two hours of evidence, and said that she 'felt totally violated' by the diaries' publication, recalling the Scum of the World front page headlined Kate's Diary. 'I'd written these words at the most desperate time of my life. It was my only way of communicating with Madeleine. It made me feel very vulnerable and small. I just couldn't believe it,' she said. 'I have looked back at my diaries from that time and I talk about climbing into a hole and not climbing out, because I just felt so worthless because of all this.' Kate McCann said she believed that the diary was taken from her by Portuguese police and was later returned. However, she said that someone must have photocopied the private diary and given it to the press. She said there were minor differences in her own diaries and those which were published by the Scum of the World, leading her to believe that they had been translated from Portuguese and back again. Gerry McCann said that the couple's media adviser Clarence Mitchell spoke to Ian Edmondson, then a senior news editor at the Scum of the World, the week before the title had published the diaries. Edmondson gave no indication about what they were intending to publish, McCann said. The Scum of the World half-heartedly apologised a week later, and said at the time 'We published the extracts in the belief held in good faith that we had Kate's permission to do so.' Quite how they believed this when, according to Mrs McCann they had never spoken to her about their intentions to publish is something they've never explained. McCann also told the inquiry how Colin Myler, the former editor of the Scum of the World, 'berated' the couple in a telephone call in May 2008 after they gave an interview to a rival magazine. He then told the inquiry how the couple had agreed to do an interview with Hello magazine to mark the first anniversary of Madeleine going missing in May 2008. Myler was 'irate' that the couple had agreed to do an interview with another publication, McCann said. 'It would be fair to say that Mr Myler was irate when he learned of the publication, and was berating us for not doing an interview with the News of the World, and told us "how supportive" the News of the World had been,' McCann said. 'It was a time of stress for us on the first anniversary when we were actually launching a new campaign, a new call number for people to come forward so that we could continue the search for our daughter, and we were interacting with the media to get that message out. He basically beat us into submission, verbally, and we agreed to do an interview the following day.' Lord Justice Leveson suggested that the inquiry would attempt to get to the bottom of how the Scum of the World published the diaries. But McCann did not reserve his criticism solely for News International. He told how the couple were the target of headlines and stories in the Daily Scum Express and Daily Lies which were 'nothing short of disgusting.'

A fifty two-year-old man has become the first person arrested as part the Metropolitan police's investigation into alleged computer hacking by the press. The man was arrested in Milton Keynes on Thursday morning in connection with computer misuse offences. He is the first person to be arrested by Scotland Yard's Operation Tuleta, the force investigating breaches of privacy involving computers. The man is in custody at a Thames Valley police station, Scotland Yard said in a statement. 'Operation Tuleta is investigating a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy, received by the Met since January 2011, which fell outside the remit of Operation Weeting, including computer-hacking,' the Met statement said. Previously, those arrested and bailed by the Met in relation to alleged illegal activities, in most cases relating to the Scum of the World, have been by officers working on Operation Weeting, investigating phone-hacking, and Operation Elveden, the probe into illegal payments to police. Scotland Yard expanded its investigation into phone hacking to examine allegations of computer-hacking by the Scum of the World in July. Operation Tuleta is investigating the use of so-called 'Trojan' e-mails which allow a hacker to take over a target's computer. The team reports to the deputy assistant commissioner, Sue Akers.

Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens has been lined up to host this week's Have I Got News For You. Stevens is most famous for his role as Matthew Crawley in ITV's smash period drama. Jo Brand, Alexander Armstrong, Lee Mack, Stephen Mangan and David Mitchell have all guest hosted episodes in the most recent run of HIGNFY. Miranda Hart has already been confirmed for a stint in the host's chair later in the series. Stevens said: 'I'm hugely excited to be hosting this week. I've watched and loved the show for years - far longer than I've watched the actual news.' Comedians Miles Jupp and Susan Calman will join team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton on the panel show's episode to be recorded on Thursday and broadcast on Friday evening.

Who'd have thought it? The Daily Lies on Wednesday carried a leader titled BBC must hold nerve. But don't all get your hopes up, dear blog reader – it's not a defence of the Beeb's journalistic independence or of the licence fee or anything even vaguely political. Rather, it's a defence of the move to Salford, prompted by the possible defection of breakfast TV star Sian Williams to ITV's Daybreak. 'There's plenty of untapped talent up north,' says the shit-scum lice at the Lies. Which might be the first time on living record that particularly odious hack-rag full of mendacity and crap has actually said something true.

I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want)'s Pat Sharp believes that 'the public want to make me suffer.' Yeah, that sounds about right. 'Sinitta went through a tough time because she showed cowardice. I'm going through a tough time because I threatened to cut a bear's head off,' he moans. What you sow, you reap, Patrick.

Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates have been named as the hosts of new BBC1 talent show The Voice. As someone on an Internet forum said when the news was announced, 'Fearne Cotton must be gutted.' To which someone else replied 'I say, that's a tad extreme. Just made to sign a declaration of intent never to present anything on TV ever again would, surely, be enough?' Gosh, there are some jokers out there, are there not, dear blog reader? The programme, which starts in the Spring, uses 'blind' auditions to judge acts solely on their vocals. This does not, of course, mean that Willoughby and Yates will have their eyes poked out. Oh no. Willoughby is well known for presenting This Morning and Twatting About on Ice, while Yates currently hosts the chart show on Radio 1. Singer Jessie J has already been announced as the first of four 'superstar coaches' on The Voice. The show, which began in the Netherlands, is already a big hit in America, where coaches include Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, and it's hoped that its popularity could rival that of The X Factor. Personally, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has he doubts that it will be quite the smash that Danny Cohen has staked his reputation upon. But time will tell. It usually does. Willoughby, thirty, said that she was 'excited' to be a part of a new talent show format. 'When it launched in America I watched one of the shows and thought it was just a fantastic format,' said Willoughby. 'When I heard it was coming to the UK I thought to myself how incredible it would be to be a part of it. It's going to be one roller-coaster of a ride and I can't wait to get started!' Yates, who has also presented Top of the Pops and the BBC's Glastonbury festival coverage, said that viewers would 'love' The Voice and added that it would be a 'credible music show.' The show originally started in the Netherlands as The Voice of Holland, and the format has now sold to 30 countries around the world. It features three key stages - blind auditions, battle rounds and live performances. Three more celebrity coaches to join Jessie J will be announced in the next few months.

The BBC has secured exclusive UK broadcast and online coverage of the Six Nations rugby union tournament until 2017, as the corporation continues to pick its rights battles in the face of a fifteen per cent cut to its sport budget. In the process the BBC has extended its existing contract for the exclusive live rights for the rugby tournament, which expires in 2013, until the end of the 2017 competition. The deal covers rights to TV, radio and online rights for the tournament, which involves fifteen matches between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy each year. The BBC, which is cutting its sports rights budget as part of director general Mark Thompson's Delivering Quality First programme, said that the tournament is 'a crown jewel' in the sporting calendar. This year's tournament attracted the biggest audiences in thirteen years with an average of 4.7 million watching each match, according to the BBC. 'The Six Nations is a crown jewel in the sporting calendar and we're delighted that we can continue to bring the tournament to our audiences,' said Barbara Slater, the BBC's director of sport. Six Nations rugby returned exclusively to the BBC in 2003 after a spell when England's home matches appeared on Sky.

An Internet advert campaign for Lynx deodorant, featuring model and reality TV regular Lucy Pinder in a series of provocative poses, has been banned for a range of offences including 'objectifying women.' Pinder, who has appeared in TV shows including the BBC's The Real Hustle Undercover and Celebrity Big Brother, featured in five Lynx Internet adverts which provoked ten complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA received a further one hundred and thirteen complaints about a separate Lynx poster campaign which did not feature Pinder. The five Internet adverts, for the Lynx Dry deodorant brand, featured Pinder (see left) undertaking activities including washing a car, jogging, sticking a chicken in the oven and playing with a light sabre. They used lines including 'What will she do to make you lose control?', 'Play with Lucy' and 'Put premature perspiration to the test.' The ASA received complaints that the adverts campaign was 'offensive, degraded and objectified women,' and ran on websites where it was 'too easily able to be viewed by children.' The advertising watchdog therefore banned the Internet campaign. Lynx's poster campaign, for shower gel, featured a woman standing underneath an outdoor shower on a beach wearing bikini bottoms while clasping an undone top against her breasts. The poster ran with the strapline: 'The cleaner you are the dirtier you get.' Tasteful. The majority of the complaints to the ASA were that the advertising campaign was 'offensive' because it was 'sexually suggestive, indecent, provocative, glamorised casual sex, and objectified and demeaned women.' Not to mention outdoor plumbing. There were also a considerable number of complaints that it was 'irresponsible' that the advert was placed in outdoor locations where it 'could be seen by children.' Unilever said that the target market for Lynx – young men – had 'come to expect, and were comfortable with the typical narrative, tone and content seen in advertising for the brand.' The company added that although the model was scantily clad 'she was not undressed to an extent that would be in any way unusual in that location [the beach].' In its ruling the ASA said that a number of the complainants had the adverts pointed out to them by their young children or been asked by them to explain the meaning of the 'dirty' strapline. It means she's a bit of a goer, kids. Know what I mean? The advertising watchdog consequently banned the posters, ruling that they were likely to be considered offensive by 'many members of the public, particularly those who were accompanied by children. We considered that the suggestive nature of the image and the strong innuendo were not acceptable for public display where they might be seen by children and concluded that the poster was irresponsible on this point,' the ASA said. The also told Lynx they'd been very naughty and not to do it again.

One of Europe's largest banks, Société Générale, has begun defamation proceedings against Associated Newspapers over a Scum Mail on Sunday article which falsely claimed the bank was in a 'perilous' state and on the 'brink of disaster.' In papers filed at the high court in London, the bank claimed it had suffered 'substantial damage to its reputation and prejudice to its trade' as a result of the article, which appeared in the Scum Mail on Sunday and on the Scum Mail Online website on 7 August this year. The paper quickly retracted the article and published an online apology accepting that the allegation was 'not true.' But Société Générale wants its pound of flesh - and good on 'em for that - and said it was 'not satisfied' by the apology, which it said was 'hard to find' on the website and had not appeared in the newspaper at all. It will claim damages to compensate for loss of business resulting from the article and for the 'cost of mitigating the damage' caused by the article. The submission by Société Générale's solicitors, the corporate law firm Herbert Smith, said the article suggested the bank was in a 'dire financial position' and would collapse into insolvency without help from the French government. It said the bank had been 'seriously injured in its reputation and has suffered general and special damage' although it was 'unable to particularise its claim for special damages [because] the work of gathering the data and evidence is ongoing at the time of pleading.' The news comes on the very day that it was announced the odious Hitler-supporting right-wing pile of stinking diarrhoea has seen its profits fall by fifteen per cent in a year. So, just another eighty five to go and then, hopefully, the bigoted, hateful, wretched lice-ridden entity will crumbleto dust before our very eyes. Because, that'd be nice. I'd like to see that.

Odious lard-bucket and figure of constant ridicule Eamonn Holmes has reportedly signed a three-year deal to continue hosting Sky News' Sunrise programme, scuppering tabloid speculation that he might make a move to ITV's beleaguered breakfast flop Daybreak. Holmes, who has been widely reported - by ill-informed glakes, admittedly - as 'a frontrunner' to takeover from grumpy Adrian Chiles on Daybreak, will remain as the anchor of Sunrise. He joined Sky News in 2005 after leaving GMTV and Sky News owner BSkyB claims the breakfast show has seen its audience grow by twenty one per cent over the last year. 'I've had a really fulfilling six years at Sky News,' Holmes said. Whilst standing outside Greggs, pastie in hand. Probably. 'I have a tremendous team on Sunrise and we know from our audience feedback that people enjoy starting their day with the way we deliver the news.' Holmes was 'installed as a frontrunner' - by the Sun if not by anybody that actually mattered - to join Daybreak at the weekend, following reports that Chiles and the curiously orange Christine Bleakley are to leave the fiasco that is Daybreak in the new year. Holmes was on the brink of returning to front GMTV in 2010 after a trial run with former The X Factor host Kate Thornton, however ITV made a last-minute move to hire Chiles after he claimed to have fallen out with the BBC over the reduction of his role on The ONE Show - by one day. The irony of the fact that a little over a year later, he'd going to be doing no days on Daybreak is, I trust, not lost on anyone, least of all Adrian himself. That's what you get when you throw your toys out of the pram, sonny. Nobody like a sulker, particular a turn-coat, money-grabbing one. Earlier this week Holmes was said to have 'expressed his interest' in the Daybreak role. Or possibly a mince and onion pie. Sources vary. ITV has still not confirmed any changes to the line up at Daybreak, although new editor David Kermode is expected 'shake things up' when he starts next month. Mind you, it's probably worth remembering that the last two TV formats Kermode has touched - Live From Studio Five and Ok! TV - both have a reputation slightly lower than rattlesnakes piss with critics and viewers alike. Natasha Kaplinsky, who reportedly has 'a close working relationship with Kermode' from their time together on Channel Five News, was also 'widely tipped' (by the Sun) as the frontrunner to take over from Bleakley. They were, seemingly, wrong about her as well as a spokeswoman for Kaplinsky distanced the former BBC presenter, now working on an interim basis at ITV News, from 'any interest' in the role. BBC presenter Sian Williams, who presents BBC1's Breakfast with Bill Turnbull but is not moving to Salford with the show next year, has also been tipped for a move to Daybreak. Whether this is tabloid guess-work or not, time will tell. Williams has worked for the BBC1 breakfast programme since 2001. The show regularly attracts more than double the viewers of Daybreak. Williams has also previously worked with Kermode, who was BBC Breakfast editor before switching to Five News in 2007.

The curries which are served in the BBC's White City canteen have reportedly caused a loss of appetite among some staff. They are, according to the BBC magazine Ariel, angry that the chicken used comes from Thailand, and have stopped ordering the dish in protest. 'I just don't understand why it has to be imported all that way,' says William Miller, director, Talent and Brand Ventures at BBC Worldwide. He and his colleagues, based in the Media Centre, are 'big fans' of the White City canteen, he explains, and 'even bigger fans' of the Wednesday curries. Or, at least, they were until they stood in the queue last week and noticed the certificate proudly displayed on the counter. 'This showed that the chicken was Halal approved and that it came from a factory in Thailand,' he says. 'Until then, we'd been happily eating it without realising the source.' There's probably an underlying message in that, Bill. What you don't know won't hurt you. He wrote to the catering team, 'expressing his concern' that the BBC was buying food from a country 'with a wanton disregard for animal welfare and [which] is a major source of avian flu.' He also asked whether it was 'really necessary,' for the sake of complying with Halal regulations, to look to Thailand as a supplier. 'Not to mention the air miles.' He says that he has received a reply which makes clear that his concerns 'are being taken seriously.' Meanwhile, Val Carter, of catering contractor Aramark, has told Ariel that, while the company supports UK farmers, and that many chicken dishes at the BBC use British birds, it 'needs to purchase from across the globe' to ensure a range of products and price bands. As for the chicken in the White City curries, it is bought in 'ready to use' having been selected for 'quality and authenticity.' Carter added: 'Thailand is the source for most of the EU's cooked poultry and is the major manufacturer for all UK retailers. All factories have been passed as safe by EU inspectors, with exemplary procedures for handling, animal welfare and food safety. Products come from areas free from avian influenza and are carefully monitored by EU vets, with each batch tested for safety issues.' However, Miller says that he 'remains unconvinced' by assurances over animal welfare and food safety, and is sceptical of Aramark's claim that there is 'a high demand' for Halal meat. Quite why he comes to this conclusion, and what evidence he uses to reach it, Ariel doesn't make clear.

Elbow are to record the BBC's soundtrack for the London 2012 Olympic Games, it has been announced. The Bury band, who won the Mercury Music Prize for their 2008 masterpiece The Seldom Seen Kid - one of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite records of all time, dear blog reader - have composed a six-minute specially-commissioned piece for the event. Lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey said that they were 'knocked out' to be asked to fill the role, and the band felt 'real responsibility.' The news came as the BBC announced its cultural programmes for the Olympics and the London 2012 Festival. The Elbow theme will be used by the BBC across its Olympic content. Further details of the song itself have yet to be released. Garvey said: 'We are knocked out to be involved and it's been quite a challenge. We have feelings of real responsibility as we will be the soundtrack to so many images of personal sacrifice and endeavour while the nation roots for, and celebrates, with Team GB.' The BBC's Director of London 2012 Roger Mosey said Elbow's piece had yet to be recorded. The opening bars of it would be broadcast for the first time around the time of the torch relay beginning in May 2012, with the full work revealed nearer to the Olympic Games opening ceremony. Writing in his blog, he added: 'It should be just-about the most heard piece of music in 2012. This builds on our recent tradition of using great British contemporary artists to deliver our music, as we did with Damon Albarn in 2008; and we reckon Elbow have a unique combination of credibility - hence their Mercury Prize - with a style that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.' This year Elbow celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their formation in Greater Manchester and in October they played a gig at Manchester Cathedral as part of BBC Radio 2's In Concert series. The five-piece have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize three times, including this year for the latest CD Build a Rocket Boys! In 2009, they won two Ivor Novello awards for two of the songs from The Seldom Seen Kid, 'One Day Like This' and 'Grounds For Divorce.' That year they also played two ground-breaking concerts with Manchester's Hallé Orchestra. BBC Radio 3's Music Matters host and Gruniad Morning Star writer Tom Service said artists had to 'get it right' at the times when the spectacles of sport and music 'come together in harmony' as with Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé's 'Barcelona', used at the 1992 Olympic Games, or the Three Tenors performing at football's Italia '90 World Cup. He said Elbow should produce: 'The perfect fusion of an anthem with a lot of musical substance to it. And it's a chance to plug into communities and show how music really matters to people and connects them with orchestras and rock bands - for audiences in pubs as well as in stadiums and concert halls.' He said the huge undertaking was in writing a short piece of music 'with artistic integrity' that summed up the occasion: 'If you think about 'Barcelona' or Puccini for the Three Tenors, it has to be great music, that's the competition it's up against. Those things are remembered because of the event but also because it's a great piece of music.' The BBC has also commissioned a raft of documentaries looking at London's history and heritage, which will be broadcast throughout 2012. The Shakespeare Season features several documentaries and a themed edition of Antiques Roadshow, alongside new versions of the bard's history plays. There's also a special episode of Qi (see left) which will feature regulars Stephen Fry and Alan Davies along with Sue Perkins, Bill Bailey and David Mitchell. The Market looks at the bustling activity of the Spitalfields, Smithfield and Billingsgate markets, where more than five million smackers changes hands every day, while Dan Cruikshank delves into the history of the plague and the great fire of London in A Tale Of Two Cities. Film-maker Julien Temple, who chronicled the punk era in The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, has created what is described as 'a love-letter to his home town' in This Is London. Delving into the capital's musical history, BBC4 will screen a Punk Britannia series, while Jools Holland and Paloma Faith each present programmes on London's venues, songs and carnivals. BBC coverage will also move outside London, including concerts in Glasgow, Cornwall, Belfast, Cardiff and the Shetland Isles, as part of the Music Nation weekend on 3 and 4 March. Meanwhile, The Culture Show will produce a one-off documentary on the construction of Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit, a gigantic red steel sculpture which will dominate the skyline in the Olympic village. Many other programmes and series tied in to the Olympics have already been announced, including the return of the Olympic comedy series Twenty Twelve, and Bert and Dickie - a dramatisation of how Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell beat the odds to become rowing gold medallists in the 1948 London Olympics.

American Samoa's national football team - ranked as the worst international team in the world - has won a game for the first time in its history. The US protectorate managed a 2-1 victory over Tonga after thirty straight defeats coverage almost two decades. Reports said the players and coach of the Pacific nation celebrated as if they had won a major championship. Aw, bless 'em. In 2001 American Samoa infamously lost 31-0 to Australia in a World Cup qualifier - the heaviest defeat in international football history. American Samoa are joint bottom of world governing body FIFA's international rankings. Coach Thomas Rongen said the victory would now be 'part of soccer history. Maybe we have a chance to do something special here beyond this one game, but let's enjoy this one right now,' he said. American Samoa's last and only other win came in the 1983 South Pacific Games, where they beat Wallis and Futuna 3-0.

A British woman on holiday in Spain was left dangling naked from her hotel balcony. The forty nine-year-old was saved by firemen after falling over a rail whilst having particularly energetic sex with her husband, according to the Daily Scum Mail. Who disapproved. Obviously. A Spanish police spokesman - nameless, of course - explained: 'If her ankle had not become trapped, she would have fell several feet onto a marble floor which would have almost certainly caused serious injury. Her good luck was that getting her leg caught stopped her from falling. Her bad luck was that she broke her ankle, was naked and couldn't get free. Had her leg not been trapped between the banisters, the consequences could have been much more serious.' The spokesman added: 'It isn't a police matter so she isn't on any charges but we warned her and her husband to think about safe sex in the future.' Safe sex? Sounds like they need a crash course in steeplejacking instead.

And finally, one for all of From The North's local readers. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self has today seen one of the most evil - if, really funny - things imaginable in Newcastle city centre on his way back from the Beeb. The Occupy people in Th' Toon - all six of them - have set up their camp at the base of Grey's Monument. Big chap, Earl Grey judging by the size of his massive column. Yes, I'm tempted to do the whole of that Rowan Atkinson 'Nelson's Column' routine but, thankfully I'm in a bit of a hurry so we'll let the opportunity pass. Anyway, around the other three sides of the plinth of the monument, the city's annual Christmas Outdoor Market stalls have all gone up during the last couple of days. And some bright spark on the organising committee has, seemingly, had the totally wicked idea of placing three of the stalls selling particularly lovely smelling food (one dealing in French pancakes, a Japanese noodle bar and a German bratwurst stand) right next to six, extremely hungry looking hippies sitting looking miserable in their tents. Bad planning. Bad planning department, come to that. But, like I say, not entirely unamusing. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self had a massive Germanic grilled hot-dog in sympathy with them and, also, a lengthy chat with the chap on the stall, who was called Klaus and was from Leverkusen. And, very nice it was too. Later this evening, I shall be passing by it again as I'm off to Scunny Steve's final Record Player event at the Tyneside just round the corner. It's Led Zep IV tonight, twenty seven fucking minutes of 'Stairway to Heaven' and all. Oooooo, oooo yeah, baby. Pass the Valium. Pass out.

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is one of the great torch songs of the latter part of the Twentieth Century. A shimmering beast of a single that also provides the soundtrack to one of the finest examples of how the use of a song can dramatically affect the emotional resonance of a particular bit of quality TV drama.

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