Monday, January 31, 2011

Switch Me On. Turn Me Up. Don't Want It Baudelaire, Just Glitterlust

Yer actual Keith Telly Topping simply loved the ludicrous Nigels versus the Bruces challenge on Top Gear on Sunday, so he did. And, the revelation that some say The Stig is 'the only woman in Britain not to have slept with Alan Johnson's policeman.' Of course, the disgraceful lice who read the Daily Scum Mail and the Gruniad Morning Star will have found something to whinge - loudly - about in it, no doubt. The Mexican sports car bit, probably. Or the Aussies arriving for the challenge in a prison van. 'That's racism, that is. Or something,' they will note. There you go, that's your page six story for Monday morning, for free this week.

Danny Baker has spoken for the first time about his cancer fight after going back to work. The fifty three-year-old was in a joking mood after being back on-air last week. He told BBC London listeners: 'I haven't earned a brass farthing since October and, I don't want to break any hearts here, but I have outgoings and this is local radio.' He added: 'It's been pretty rough recently but things lifted over the last weekend. And by Wednesday I was approaching full strength.' He said that he had lost a stone in the past week, but still decided to come in to present his show. 'Excuse the self-indulgence nonsense but it's been October since I came into the West End. It's like country mouse who came to town.' Get well soon, Dan the Man, and then hurry back. Your country needs you, now more than ever.

The vile and odious Piers Morgan has seen ratings for his new CNN chat show plummet by seventy five per cent since its debut two weeks ago. The Life Stories presenter, former (disgraced) tabloid editor and twat only managed to attract a risible four hundred and ninety eight thousand viewers to the latest edition of Piers Morgan Tonight on Thursday, a substantial drop from the two million viewers who tuned in to watch him interview Oprah Winfrey on 17 January. Morgan, who probed deeply into the not-entirely-shallow lives of reality TV regulars Kim and Khloe Kardashian in the poorly-received instalment, finished behind rival talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow, as well as - most embarrassingly - a CNBC supermarket documentary in the 9pm slot. Upon discovering the disappointing figures, Morgan's long-standing rival Lord Alan Sugar-Sweetie gloated on Twitter: 'Piersy is this true? Piers Morgan beaten by CNBC oh dear! I got more ratings on CNBC when they ran UK version of Apprentice a couple of years ago.' Big fight. Little people.

BBC1's Casualty scored another high rating on Saturday night, overnight viewing figures indicate. Broadcast at 9pm, A Lion Roars - which saw Kirsty and Warren come to blows - pulled in a solid six million audience. There were also strong performances on the channel from The Magicians and In It To Win It, which were watched by 5.7m and 6.6m at 7.15pm and 8.15pm respectively. Prior to that, All New Total Wipeout had an audience of 4.17m as BBC1 for the most part dominated Saturday prime time. Over on ITV, the live FA Cup of Scumchester United's win at Southampton drew 5.12m between 4.45pm and 7.15pm. The latest episode of Primeval sadly continued the downward trend with 3.39m and 4.08m watched Paddy McGuinness in the wretched Take Me Out an hour later, before a repeat of Benidorm was seen by 2.62m. On BBC2, the documentary From Haiti's Ashes managed 1.05m at 8pm, then Qi: XL had 1.86m and The Tudors was watched by 1.65m at 9.45pm.

Coronation Street will reportedly feature two sham marriages as part of an upcoming plot line. Graeme Proctor (Craig Gazey) will marry his girlfriend Tina's Chinese friend Xin so that she can stay in the country when her student visa runs out - risking going back to jail in the process. The fake couple will then bribe David Platt (Jack P Shepherd) and Kylie Turner (Paula Lane) into letting them share their wedding day, but Kylie is only marrying David in the hope of getting her grubby mitts on Audrey's hair salon, according to the News of the World. The scheming rotter. Graeme and Tina stage a break-up and Xin (played by Elizabeth Tan) moves into their flat. However, despite being Tina's idea, the lies will push the couple apart and Graeme leaves Weatherfield later this year. He tells Tina: 'I can't believe what we've got ourselves into. I could get seven years in jail for doing this.' She tells him: 'When the dust settles we'll find a way out.' A source said: 'Things get messy. Corrie fans love Graeme and Tina together. But the lies eventually split them up. And whether or not he is found out and sent to jail, Graeme will leave Corrie very soon.' Ah, truth is always the victor. That could almost be a fifty year motto for Corrie.

BBC1's controller Danny Cohen has defended the decision to cancel Lark Rise To Candleford. According to the Sun, more than eighty viewers have complained since it emerged that the period drama will end after its current run. Eighty, out of a regular audience of between four and a half and five million, please note. Presumbly the others just couldn't be bothered. However, Cohen explained that he wants the show to finish while it is still getting relatively high ratings. 'Lark Rise To Candleford has been a truly wonderful part of the BBC1 schedule and we are incredibly grateful to writer Bill Gallagher and the team,' he said. 'But we feel the time is right to make room for new dramas which we hope will be taken to the nation's hearts in the same way.'

Well known horrorshow, faceache and drag, Ann Widdecombe has called for EastEnders' upcoming 'sex exploitation' plotline to be shown after the watershed. The Strictly Come Dancing contestant and former - widely loathed - government minister expressed concerns about children watching the storyline, in which Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is manipulated by new boyfriend Rob (Jody Latham). 'The BBC need to think about how they handle this,' she told the People: 'I don't think something like this should be screened before 9pm. There are eleven-year-olds up at this time. We shouldn't be encouraging children as young as eleven to watch stuff like this.' Isn't it totally beyond belief that Ann Widdecombe seriously imagines we live in a world where eleven year olds aren't 'up' at nine o'clock? And then, people wonder why the Tories are accused of being out of touch. A spokeswoman for the soap said: 'This is about Whitney being emotionally abused and groomed. It is different to prostitution. Whitney is initially not aware she is selling sex. In the long tradition the show has of tackling social issues, this is a storyline that looks to be exploring a growing problem that faces many young women in the UK.'

Plastic surgeons in the UK have said that the record number of breast augmentation surgeries performed last year is due to women wanting to look like Mad Men's Christina Hendricks. In 2010, more than nine thousand women went under the knife in the hope of achieving a more voluptuous profile. A source from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (which, of course, has the quite wonderful acronym of BAAPS) told the Sunday Torygraph: 'Christina Hendricks is gorgeous, and the hourglass figure is definitely back in fashion. Let's just say that heroin chic isn't the big thing at the moment.' The total number of operations performed is believed to have jumped by ten per cent from 2009. 'That kind of increase in arguably the worst period of the recession is impressive,' the insider added. 'Especially as the growth in demand had slowed down before.'

Keira Knightley has confessed that she used to feel like she didn't deserve success as an actress. The Never Let Me Go star admitted that finding fame at an early age was confusing and revealed that she used to feel insecure about leaving school at sixteen. Asked if she enjoys being successful, she told the Observer: 'Yes and no. I had success very young. I found that confusing and rather frightening for a long time. I didn't feel I deserved it.' She added: 'Sometimes I feel very stupid and sometimes I feel like I'm all right. Normally after days like today doing press I feel incredibly stupid. But I can talk about my dress really well. But I love research. I left school at sixteen. I don't have any formal education after that, so I think it's part of my education, and it sends me off reading in different areas and I enjoy that. I think I was a huge snob. I always did very well at school, and the idea that I was a person who left at sixteen was shocking to me for years. I've now come to terms with the fact, and that's all right. But it's always a part of my personality, a chip on my shoulder.'

Andy Gray's former best friend has chosen this week of all weeks to speak to a national newspapers about the sacked sports pundit's affair with his estranged wife. Quite why he didn't do this a fortnight ago when Gray were, merely, 'Sky's very much not-sacked football pundit' is, at this time, unknown. Although, you can probably guess dear blog reader. Mike Lewis recalled how his five-year marriage to Rachel, as well as his three-decade long friendship with Gray, was 'blown apart' by the revelation of their 'secret fling' in 2006. Not so secret now, one could note. Gray and Rachel are said to be planning to get married later in the year, but Lewis told the Scum Mail On Sunday that he has refused to sign divorce papers until receiving an apology from Gray, who last week was fired from Sky Sports for making sexist remarks about a female assistant referee. What any of this has to do with anyone apart from the three people involved, much less the lice who read the Scum Mail on Sunday is, of course, an entirely separate matter dear blog reader. But, this blog reports it because it's been reported. We are all prostitutes now, it would seem. 'Before Christmas I got a call from Rachel asking me to sign the papers - but no. It's not that I want her back, it's just that I'm owed an apology,' bewailed Lewis. 'Andy is a low life - there are certain things you don't do in this world. I know he's totally devastated by his sacking, it's taught him a lesson. But he needed it.' Lewis further claimed that Gray had denied the affair when rumours of Rachel's infidelity began to circulate. 'Andy's words were "Me mate? The one thing I want in this world is for you and Rachel to spend the rest of your lives together." When your best pal says that to you, it puts you at ease. I only heard about the affair when a newspaper rang me. I was shattered.' Still, I imagine the cheque from the Scum Mail on Sunday will ease the pain slightly.

Channel Four has confirmed plans to air Live From Abbey Road - Beady Eye Special. The thirty minute show will feature Liam Gallagher's post-Oasis band performing four songs plus an interview with the group. It will be broadcast in late February. In spring 2011, the broadcaster will follow up the programme with a new series of fifteen minute shows entitled Abbey Road Debuts. Each programme will feature two songs from a band's Abbey Road debut and an interview with host Tom Ravenscroft. Neil McCallum, head of T4 & Music at Channel 4, said: 'We're looking forward to broadcasting Beady Eye's eagerly anticipated televised performance prior to the release of their brand new album. In addition, it's exciting to be announcing a brand new spin off series, Abbey Road Debuts which will allow the next generation of musical stars, the opportunity to perform in such a historical space. We envisage the shows to be the perfect accompaniment to the main series, collectively covering a whole new musical spectrum.'

Some terribly sad news to start off the week. The legendary composer John Barry has died at the age of seventy seven. John - who will always, despite his many other achievements, be best known for his work on the James Bond movies - died after a heart attack, BBC News reports. After being hired to arrange Monty Norman's 'James Bond Theme' for Dr No in 1962, Barry would compose the scores for eleven of the next fourteen Bond movies from 1963's From Russia With Love to 1987's The Living Daylights. The subject of the authorship of 'The James Bond Theme' itself has always been something of a vexed one with at least two court cases being fought over it. John's other famous scores included those for movies as diverse as Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Zulu, The Ipcress File, The Knack ... And How To Get It, The Wrong Box, The Lion in Winter, Born Free, Midnight Cowboy, Walkabout, The Dove, Out of Africa, Body Heat, The Cotton Club, Jagged Edge, Peggy Sue Got Married and Dances with Wolves among many others. Born in York in 1933 as John Barry Prendergast, John's father, Jack, owned several local cinemas and by the age of fourteen, John was capable of running the projection box at The Rialto in York. It was also a musical family - John's mother having been trained as a concert pianist - and as he was brought up in a cinematic environment, John soon began to assimilate the music which accompanied the movies he saw nightly. To a point when, even before he'd left St Peters school, he had decided to become a film music composer. Lessons provided locally on the piano and the trumpet were followed by the more formal theory taught by tutors like Dr Francis Jackson of York Minster and jazz composer William Russo, with whom John had a lengthy correspondence course. A three year sojourn in the army as a bandsman on National Service combined with his evening stints with local jazz bands gave him the idea to form a combo of his own. The John Barry Seven launched during 1957 via a succession of tours and TV appearances. A recording contract with EMI followed, and although initial releases made by the group failed to chart, Barry showed enough promise to influence the management at Abbey Road to allow him to become an arranger for other artists on the EMI roster as well as pursuing his own pop career. The John Barry Seven eventually had considerable success in Britain in the late 1950s and early 60s, including 'Hit and Miss' which was used as the theme tune for the BBC's Juke Box Jury, a well-remembered cover of the Ventures' US hit 'Walk Don't Run' and a number of John's own instrumentals including 'Black Stockings', 'Beat For Beatniks' and 'Cutty Sark.' Another career breakthrough was the BBC television series Drumbeat, where John as well as appearing with The Seven produced arrangements for many of the other singers on the show, including most notably pop idol Adam Faith for whom Barry also composed songs (along with Les Vandyke). When Faith made his first film, the excellent - and controversial - Beat Girl in 1960, Barry was hired to compose, arrange and conduct the score. Johng also composed the music for another Faith film Never Let Go the following year. He orchestrated the score for Mix Me A Person, and composed, arranged and conducted the score for The Amorous Prawn. Barry was employed by EMI from 1959 until 1962 arranging orchestral accompaniment for a wide variety of the company's artists. He moved to Ember in 1963 as the label's house producer. John was often cited as having a distinct style which concentrated on lush strings and extensive use of a powerful brass section and reverb. However he was also an innovator, his mid-60s work making heavy, and hugely influential, use of the harpsichord, being one of the first composers to employ synthesizers in a film score (1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service), and to make wide use of pop songs in the award-winning soundtrack for Midnight Cowboy. John also wrote the memorable Moog-and-harpsichord-dominated theme for TV's The Persuaders! (1971) and the scores to a number of musicals, including Passion Flower Hotel (with lyrics by Trevor Peacock), the successful West End show Billy (with lyrics by his long-time collaborator Don Black) and two major Broadway flops, The Little Prince and the Aviator and Lolita, My Love, the latter with Alan Jay Lerner as lyricist. During 2006, Barry was the executive producer on a CD entitled Here's to the Heroes by the Australian ensemble The Ten Tenors. Barry and Black also composed one of the songs on Shirley Bassey's 2009 comeback CD, The Performance. The song, 'Our Time Is Now,' was the first written by the duo for Bassey since 'Diamonds Are Forever' thirty eight years earlier. John's work saw him win five Oscars (for The Lion In Winter, Out of Africa, Dances With Wolves and two for Born Free), while he received a BAFTA fellowship in 2005. His most recent film score featured in the 2001 war thriller Enigma, while a musical version of Brighton Rock, created with Don Black, had its London premiere in 2004. In 2002 he was named an Honorary Freeman of the City of York. Awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to music, John was renowned for his lush strings, orchestral swells and elegant melodies. And for those magnificent Bond themes he wrote with Black, Lionel Bart, Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse and Hal David. If ever the opening five seconds of a film's theme song told the listener everything they needed to know about the movie that was to follow it's the beginning of 'Goldfinger.' 'He's never satisfied with what he does. Every day he wakes up and believes that into his mind and soul is going to come some magical arrangement of notes that he's going to ultimately either entrance you with in a concert hall or cinema. It's because he thinks there's still a peak to climb that he's a great film music composer,' was Sir Richard Attenborough eloquent explaination of what made John Barry tick. Their success together in 1992 with Chaplin is a superb example of what John's music does for a motion picture. Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of the comic legend is given a tragic soul by the score. The result (nominated for yet another Oscar) is but one of John's magical arrangement of notes. The duo had worked together at the very start of Barry's career in film on The L-Shaped Room (1962). Sadly, John suffered a rupture of the oesophagus in 1988 following a toxic reaction to a health tonic he had consumed. The incident almost killed him, rendered him unable to work for two years (his comeback was Dances With Wolves) and left him vulnerable to pneumonia for the rest of his life. John was married four times: To Barbara Pickard 1959-63, Jane Birkin 1965-68 and Jane Sidey 1969-71. He married his current wife, Laurie, in 1978. He is survived four children, one each from his first, second, and fourth marriages and one with the actress Ulla Larsson, with whom he lived in the sixties, and five grandchildren. The current Bond composer, and one of Barry's most notable protégés, David Arnold wrote on Twitter: 'It was with a heavy heart that I tell you John Barry passed away this morning. I am profoundly saddened by the news but profoundly thankful for everything he did for music and for me personally.' Arnold later told BBC Radio: 'I think James Bond would have been far less cool without John Barry holding his hand. Of course, John was aligned to very cool things as well - James Bond and Harry Palmer - and he was having hit records with his band, the John Barry Seven. He lived in Chelsea and I think he drove an Aston Martin. If he didn't he should have done. He had the whole thing down.' Don Black added, 'The thing about John that I will always remember was he never changed. He was very much the Yorkshireman whether he was in Beverly Hills or Manhattan. When he played you a melody it was like an unveiling. You didn't question it because you knew he had been up all night working on it and getting it right.' John's son-in-law, BBC business reporter Simon Jack, said that he 'truly loved writing music as much as people enjoyed listening to it. He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen.' Jack also remembered John as 'a wickedly funny man' whose 'passion, genius and sense of humour will be terribly missed by his family and friends.' Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Born Free star Virginia McKenna said Barry was 'a wonderful musician and composer.' Michael Crawford, a close firend of John's for many years, who took the title role in Barry and Black's stage collaberation with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, Billy, said that John had written 'some of the most memorable and beautiful film scores we could ever wish to hear.' Yer Keith Telly Topping's recommendation, dear blog reader, if you have only a passing knowledge of John Barry's work, is to get yourself over to and pick up a second hand copy of the superb four-CD collection Themependium. It will change your life.

This news, of course, necessitates a change to the final Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day for January, which now kicks-off with one of John's best remembered and most moving works. Moving on, we follow that with a piece of ice-cold perfection from Alison and the chaps.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How To Hide Behind A Bitter Wall Of Blue

John Torode has revealed that the upcoming series of MasterChef will begin with a never-before-seen twist. At least, in the UK, it's a standard element of the Australian version of the show. In a change to the BBC cooking competition's format, the judging duo will now be involved in the audition process, where approximately two hundred amateurs will attempt to win a place on the show by cooking up a tasty meal from a selection of ingredients they brought along. Torode explained to the Daily Scum Mail: 'Gregg and I are now involved in the previously un-filmed audition process, so we get to taste even more food than ever. We realised that some good cooks were falling by the wayside because they lost their nerve at the first hurdle - the Invention Test, where they have to produce a dish from surprise ingredients in half an hour. Previously, that was the first we got to see of our finalists. Now, we can judge potential from the very outset. If we both like their audition dish, the contestant goes forward to one of the twenty places in the MasterChef knockout competition. But if Gregg and I can't agree, they have to come back with more of their known ingredients to cook another of their best dishes to wow us.' The - much anticipated - new series of MasterChef will begin on BBC1 in February.

Come Fly With Me has been recommissioned for a second series, it has been announced. The airport-based mockumentary, starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, will return to BBC1 after the success of its first series, which was the best-performing comedy show over the Christmas period, the Independent reports. Mark Freeland, head of in-house comedy at the BBC, said: 'After such a flying start on BBC1, it's great news that Matt Lucas and David Walliams will once again be filling the check-in desks, departure lounges and cockpits with their wonderful and weird characters.' Danny Cohen, BBC1's controller, added: 'Come Fly With Me has been a huge hit with audiences. I can't wait to see what Matt and David will do with the second series.' Personally, yer Keith Telly Topping thinks it's about as funny as a good hard kick in the knackers but, seemingly, I appear to be in a minority of one there so, recommissioned it has been.

The annual Radio Times Covers Party took place at Claridges in London last Tuesday evening, which as usual saw a multitude of actors and presenters gather together to celebrate another year's worth of Radio Times covers. The event was hosted by former Doctor Who star David Tennant, who was also presented with his cover for Single Father (9-15 October). Karen Gillan was there to receive the Doctor Who cover for The Pandorica Opens (19-25 June). Other guests at the party included Steven Moffat, Rob Brydon, Terry Wogan, Aidan Grimshaw, Jean Marsh, Keeley Hawes, Hugh Bonneville and David Morrissey.

Still on Doctor Who news, the casting directory Spotlight have listed Annabel Cleare as appearing in episode seven of the currently filming series. Primarily a theatre actress, Annabel has also appeared on television, mainly in documentary style programmes such as JFK Revealed for Channel Four and The Real Atlantis for BBC2, and also a Home Fries Chips commercial. The actress confirmed the role on Twitter, which also indicated that her young son Henry would also be appearing in the episode, though she described their roles as 'small'! Henry himself has also appeared in a number of commercials and short films. Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville's character has been named as Avery on his Gordon and French CV, and this also reports the director for this episode as Jeremy Webb (a regular director on Merlin). Next week, it has been reported that the cast and crew on Jeremy and Hugh's episode of Doctor Who - probably the third in transmission order next series - will travel out of Wales for once down to Cornwall, descending on the coastal town of St Austell and filming in the Charlestown area of the town. There has been much speculation that bearing in mind that the character played by Bonneville is a pirate called Avery, the Georgian port location could indicate a historical setting for episode three involving the real-life pirate Henry John Every. Yar.

Geoff Stults has reportedly been cast in the previously announced Bones spin-off The Finder. According to TV Line, Stults will play the central character Walter Sherman, also known as The Locator. Sherman, described as 'a former military policeman who can find anything,' is expected to be introduced in episode nineteen of the current series of Bones. Stults recently made a guest appearance in the current series of How I Met Your Mother. He also played Deputy Tommy Conroy in the short-lived ABC drama Happy Town. Bones producer Stephen Nathan recently said that casting of the character of Sherman was proving to be difficult.

Embarrassing Bodies returned to Channel Four with nearly three and a half million viewers on Friday night, according to overnight data. Finishing second in the 9pm hour, the programme added just under six hundred thousand further viewers on C4+1. Jason Manford's Comedy Rocks continued its dreadfully disappointing run of audience figures with a mere 2.51m watching on ITV. Meanwhile, Hustle easily won the slot with 5.74m.

Jeremy Paxman has defended the BBC World Service following news of six hundred and fifty job losses. Writing in the Gruniad Morning Star, the Newsnight presenter compared the broadcaster to 'an ageing uncle who's seen it all. I have never, ever, anywhere in the world, heard anyone say a bad word about the World Service,' he said. 'How many millions listen to the World Service in some form? A mere two hundred and forty one million people, they say - the figures are so vast as not to mean very much. But it must be many more than will ever clap eyes on William Hague, listen to an ambassadorial speech or attend a Foreign Office leadership conference.' The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has cut the funding that it awards to the BBC World Service by sixteen per cent. Responsibility for funding the World Service will be met exclusively by the BBC from 2015. Last week, the National Union of Journalists said that the cuts were 'a brutal attack on a valued and vital national service.'

2Entertain have announced that the DVD release of the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story The Ambassadors of Death has been delayed due to ongoing restoration issues. It was hoped that the story, first broadcast in 1970, would be released later this year and it was due to be along with the 1977 Tom Baker story The Sun Makers. However the company confirmed via their Twitter account that Ambassadors will not now be released in 2011. The story only existed in the BBC Archives in a bewildering mixture of broadcast formats. Although the original colour Transmission Master of Episode One exists, the rest of the story was only kept as 16mm black and white film. Some of it with a particularly poor sound quality. A second generation NTSC colour copy exists as an off-air recording from WNED Channel 17 in Buffalo, and this was used to restore episodes five and six to colour for the 2002 Video release. However the quality of the colour recording was not good enough to allow for the restoration of the rest of the story. Earlier this year it was reported that the remaining episodes were being restored to colour using the same technique applied to Episode Three of the 1973 story Planet of the Daleks. However it appears this process has run into problems and the release date has been delayed to give the restoration team more time to work on the project.

Talks to bring Big Brother to Channel Five are said to be 'at an advanced stage,' industry insiders have claimed. Broadcast reports that negotiations between the reality show's production company, Endemol, and Richard Desmond, the owner of Channel Five, have re-opened in recent months and a final deal could be 'just a few weeks away.' The publication claims that the agreement could tie Big Brother to the broadcaster for as long as five years, though this could be reduced if performance targets are missed. Desmond is also believed to be interested in relaunching Celebrity Big Brother and extending the main programme's run past the traditional thirteen-week mark. Desmond had identified Big Brother as an ideal format for the rebranded Channel Five following his one hundred million pound takeover in July 2010. However, talks broke down in September, allegedly over Desmond's determination to pay less than the estimated seven million pounds price tag attached to Channel Four's three-year contract for the programme in 2006. Big Brother concluded its eleventh and final series on Channel Four on 24 August 2010. Its 'final' episode, which saw series two champion Brian Dowling win an Ultimate competition, broadcast seventeen days later and ended with the message 'Big Brother will get back to you.'

An aspiring singer rejected from American Idol has launched a third lawsuit against the show. Ian Benardo, who unsuccessfully auditioned for the 2006 season of the FOX contest, is attempting to sue producers for discrimination after claiming that they 'exploited' his homosexuality by asking him to 'gay it up.' The failed performer originally sought three hundred million dollars from the show, but reduced this demand to one hundred million when he refiled legal papers in September 2010. Although this lawsuit was dismissed, TMZ claims that Benardo submitted yet another legal challenge on Friday, this time asking for just five million in damages. When that's turned down, expect a subsequent claim for 'the price of a cup of tea.' Benardo last appeared on TV screens in American Idol's live season nine finale, when he stormed the stage and snatched a microphone away from comedian Dane Cook in order to hurl abuse at then-judge Simon Cowell. He later claimed that FOX bosses had invited him to the finale and instructed him to perform the stunt, something which FOX has denied.

Blue have been revealed as the act representing the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf. The reunited boyband were confirmed to have been chosen by the BBC in a statement made on the corporation's official Eurovision Twitter page. They will perform a new self-penned song entitled 'I Can', with the song's promotion and recording also being filmed as part of a BBC documentary to be screened in April. BBC Head of Entertainment and Events Katie Taylor commented: 'We're enormously pleased to have found an act that not only meets but exceeds all the criteria for a great entry. Blue are the perfect choice and we're so proud to have them representing us at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.' Band member Duncan James also revealed his excitement on Twitter, saying: 'Yes the rumour r [sic] true! We r [sic] representing the uk in this yrs [sic] EUROVISION! We r [sic] really excited and cant [sic] wait till u [sic] hear the song! ITS [sic] BIG!' So excited, seemingly, that he's forgotten how to spell 'are' properly. The group have previous links to the contest, as Antony Costa came second in the 2006 edition of Eurovision song selection show Making Your Mind Up with 'It's A Beautiful Thing'. Duncan James was also part of the judging panel on the show's successor Eurovision: Your Country Needs You in 2009.

Big fat enormous tub-of-lard horroshow, and drag, Vanessa Feltz has been accused of 'bullying' a student who was doing what has been described as 'work experience' on Feltz's BBC London show. Beverley Nesbit, nineteen, claims that she was reduced to tears after a series of incidents involving the fulsome presenter in July. Nesbit secured the post after winning a one hundred and twenty pound bid arranged by Feltz's daughter, Saskia Kurer, at a university charity event. 'I basically paid to be abused by Vanessa Feltz for a week,' she told the Daily Scum Mail. Well, you know, there's some people who are into that sort of thing, dear. 'Vanessa was really brash, not like the bubbly person you see on television, but in a rude and arrogant way.' Can I take issue with the idea that Feltz is, in an way, 'a bubbly person' on TV, please? She's, as previously discussed, an annoying horrorshow, and drag, with what appears to be far too high an opinion of her own abilities, same as she is on radio. 'She barely acknowledged me, and when she did she said everything I had done was rubbish.' Recalling one incident, Nesbit said: 'Vanessa turned to me and said, "Beverley, which is your favourite poem by Yeats?" I'm not a stupid person, but I was honest and told her I'd never heard of Yeats and didn't have a favourite.' Oh dear. What are they teaching young people at school these days? The Second Coming? You know, 'things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.' A bit like Vanessa Feltz's wasteline, when you think about it. 'She was really rude and said something like, "That's ridiculous, write me a two thousand word essay on Yeats by tomorrow." I thought she was joking,' Nesbit claimed to the newspaper. Feltz apparently requested the essay to be on her desk the following day. 'I had to admit I hadn't done it,' Nesbit added. Shockingly, alleged big nasty scary schoolma'am Feltz didn't, at this point, administer Nesbit with a damned good caning for 'not doing her homework.' Well, that's just not on if she wants to develop a reputation for being a real bully. 'I couldn't believe it. In the end I went to the toilet and just cried. I just wanted to go home. I couldn't believe how rude and horrible she had been. In the end a producer came and asked me if I was okay.' Feltz didn't respond to the paper's requests for a comment. A BBC spokesman, however, was more forthcoming: 'This was a private visit, arranged by Vanessa, and not part of the BBC work experience scheme.'

It's theme-Sunday on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day today, dear blog reader. A laid-back celebration of one of the world's favourite mellow supergroups containing the massive talents of Mssrs CrosbyStills
Youngnot forgetting Gifted and Black.And, if you put them all together in a big sack, this is what they sound like. 'Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming/We're finally on our own...'Sadly, in that particularly clip, big David looks like he's eaten Ohio.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week Six: Silence In Your Eyes

Excellent episode of Hustle on Friday night yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought if you missed it, dear blog reader. Particularly a dryly sinister little turn by the great Denis Lawson. This week has also seen the beginning of Bones' so-called 'sniper-arc' storyline with one of the best episodes the series has done in some considerable time, The Bullet in the Brain. Directed by old David Boreanaz his very self, this featured the welcome return of Ryan O'Neill and a highly effective performance by John Francis Daley as one part of the plot focused on a real crisis of confidence for Sweets. The week's House episode - Carrot and Stick - also had a couple of intriguing little subplots; House trying to help Cuddy's daughter Rachel get into a prestigious preschool by, basically, cheating and Chase facing some personal troubles after a less-than-appropriate photo of him is posted on a social networking website. Meanwhile, Lie To Me had its biggest audience for an episode of the current series (in fact, its highest since early in season two) in a story about a dysfunctional family's reactions to the kidnap of their youngest member. And, speaking a high ratings, the latest episode of Hawaii Five-0 was watched by the show's highest audience to date, over nineteen million. Just in time for its UK debut next week (see below). Decent - albeit, logically insane - episode as well.

The BBC is to make an official protest to the Egyptian authorities after one of its journalists was assaulted by police in Cairo on Friday. Assad Sawey, the BBC's Cairo correspondent, was said to 'deliberately assaulted' by police while reporting on a baton charge during the street protests. When surrounded by men who appeared to be plain clothes security men, he identified himself as a BBC journalist. He was then repeatedly hit, taking blows to the head. He reported that they beat him with steel bars, 'the ones used here for slaughtering animals.' His camera was confiscated and he was arrested. After being released without charge, he received medical attention for a head wound, and then continued reporting. The BBC's global news director Peter Horrocks said: 'The BBC condemns this assault on one of our correspondents by the authorities. We shall be forcefully protesting this brutal action directly to the Egyptian authorities. It is vital that all journalists, whether from the BBC or elsewhere, are allowed to do their job of bringing accurate, impartial eye witness reports to audiences around the world without fear.'

Which brings us nicely to yer next actual batch of Top Telly Tips.
Friday 4 February
Tonight see the beginning of this year's Six Nations Rugby Union - 7:30 BBC1 - and John Inverdale introduces coverage of the opening match of the championship, as Wales meet England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, isn't it? England's last success on this ground came eight years ago, when current coach Martin Johnson captained the team to a crushing 43-9 victory. Since then, Wales have won three games in a row in Cardiff between the nations, including two years ago when Stephen Jones kicked fifteen points in a 23-15 triumph. With commentary by Eddie Butler and Brian Moore, and analysis by Jeremy Guscott and Jonathan Davies.

The Lock Up - 8:30 BBC3 - is a new documentary series following the work of officers in the custody suite of a police station in Hull, East Yorkshire, meeting some of the two thousand young offenders they deal with annually. In the first episode, Sgt Jane Biglin - acting turn-key - encounters a selection of regular clients, including a prostitute who finds refuge in the cells and a heroin-addicted thief. Just an everyday story of simple folk, then.

Welcome to Romford - 7:30 Channel 4 - is Simon Smith's documentary which provides an insight into the inner-workings of a Romford minicab firm. Because, of course, we never see any examples of fly on the wall documentaries comes from Essex, do we? However, this one looks a bit different, at least. Using a split-screen technique, the film shows the drivers' reactions toward the passengers they pick up on a Friday night, including a man found lying in the middle of the road in a pool of his own vomit and a couple who have just met on the Internet. Part of the First Cut strand.

Saturday 5 February
It doesn't seem like five minutes since the last series of Harry Hill's TV Burp - 7:00 ITV - ended. But, already, it's back of a new run. In which, as usual, the big-collared comedian looks back at the week's small-screen highlights, subjecting the latest soaps, reality shows and documentaries to his unique brand of scrutiny.

Author Sebastian Faulks examines the British novel and how it shaped the national identity through some of its best-known characters in Faulks on Fiction - 9:00 BBC2. In the first episode, he looks at heroes and how the idea of heroism in books has evolved in the past three hundred years, from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to Martin Amis's John Self. Featuring contributions from Simon Armitage, Brian Keenan, Boris Johnson and Ruth Rendell.

In the latest episode of The Million Pound Drop Live - 8:50 Channel Four - Davina McCall takes a bit of time out from disgracefully patronising fatties on The Biggest Loser, and presents the quiz show in which contestants can win a million pounds - all they have to do is hold onto it until the end of the programme. They are challenged to place large quantities of the cash over trapdoors and face a series of questions, the wrong answers to which will lose them money every time they slip up. For 'entertainment' allegedly, dear blog reader.

Sunday 6 February
Sunday is rapidly turning into a best telly night of the week: The People's Supermarket - 8:00 Channel Four - is a new series starting tonight in which restaurant owner Arthur Potts Dawson tries to create a new type of supermarket. One in which members of the public choose what goes on the shelves, work in the premises and own the store itself. In the first episode, he tries to put his idea into action, but fears that one of the established names will compete to secure the lease of the central London building he has identified as an ideal location.

Also new is The Promise - 9:00 Channel Four. This is a drama which follows the parallel stories of an eighteen-year-old Londoner on a visit to present-day Israel and her grandfather, a soldier in the British peace-keeping force in 1940s Palestine. Erin sets off to spend the summer with a Jewish friend, and takes her grandfather Len's diary with her to learn more about his life. Intrigued by his tale, which begins in the final days of the Second World War, she retraces his steps in a bid to fulfil a promise he made more than sixty years previously. Starring Claire Foy, Christian Cooke and Holly Aird.

Meanwhile, good old reliable Top Gear - 8:00 BBC2 - will be upsetting those looking to be upset in the first place for another hour of peerless comedy. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May visit Albania to test three luxurious vehicles - the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Bentley Mulsanne and Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG. For a laugh. Jezza also drives three high-performance hatchbacks in the form of the limited-edition Ford Focus RS500, Prodrive-developed Cosworth Impreza STi CS400 and one-off Volvo C30 PPC. Jonathan Ross is the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car. Again.

Currently the best drama series on the box, by a distance, tonight's episode of Being Human - 9:00 BBC3 - sees Annie followed home by a drunk girl while out on her regular midnight walk, but the housemates soon realise Sasha is no ordinary human being. In this series, that's kind of a given. She's actually a zombie but is in denial about her condition. Amusing, she also starts flirting with Mitchell, but he is too preoccupied with his suspicion that his ghost friend fancies him. Which, of course, she does, that's been building since the middle of series two. You'd think a perceptive hundred and fifty year old chap like Mitchell would've sussed that by now. Meanwhile, the vampire also attracts the attention of a super-fan, who starts to show signs of being a stalker. Mad as toast and, as not, comfortably, the most interesting, well written and beautifully acted piece of drama being shown on British TV. Telefantasy or otherwise.

Four months after yer actual Keith Telly Topping started banging on about what a great little series it was, the remake of Hawaii Five-O finally arrives in the UK - 9:00 Sky1. Opposite Being Human. Nice timing, guys. However, it is repeated on Tuesday so, if you miss it, don't worry. This is, of course, a remake of the popular US crime drama on the 1970s, starring Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. When former Navy Seal Steve McGarret returns to his native Hawaii to investigate his father's murder, the island's governor enlists him to lead an elite branch of the state's police force, pairing him with a reluctant New Jersey detective Danny Williams. Whenever you're remaking a classic TV show, either as remake or as a movie, there is one golden rule you should always follow, unless you're doing a complete Battlestar Galactica style 'reimagining.' Remind yourself of all of the things that made the original so memorable and then, for God's sake, do not, do not, do not mess with them. Say the words 'Hawaii', 'Five' and 'Oh' to most people over a certain age and they will remember three things about the long-running Jack Lord series, apart from the locations and memorable characters. Great theme tune, stunning title sequence and one iconic catchphrase ('book 'em, Danno'). I'm delighted to report that all three are present and correct in the remake (though the latter is usually sent up something rotten). It's fast, it's slick and it's well worth watching, a few bits of hilarious over-the-top mom's apple pieisms aside. Oh, and James Marsters is the guest villain in the opening episode. Sold.

Monday 7 February
It's something of good week for drama new to British telly. Outcasts - 9:00 BBC1 - is a major new futuristic series about a diverse group of individuals led by President Richard Tate (Liam Cunningham) forging a new beginning for mankind on another planet. But, of course, the pioneers struggle to escape the human pitfalls of love, greed, lust and loss. So, basically, it's Coronation Street on Mars. The arrival of the last known transporter from Earth signals fresh hope for the residents of Carpathia, and loyalties are tested as the head of Forthaven's expeditionaries tries to break away from the settlement. A superb cast includes Hermione Norris from [spooks], Daniel Mays from Ashes to Ashes, Law & Order: UK's Jamie Bamber and Jessica Haines. Looks great.

The opening episode of Royal Navy Caribbean Patrol - 9:00 Channel Five - is called Bad Guys Dead Ahead. Which, frankly, is reason enough to watch the thing in and of itself. This is, as you might have guessed, a documentary following HMS Manchester on her final deployment - a seven-month tour of duty hunting drug smugglers in the Caribbean. Tough job, nice climate. The Royal Navy destroyer responds to intelligence sent from undercover agents, but finding the suspect vessels proves a difficult task, until the crew's luck changes dramatically just off the volcanic island of Montserrat.

In tonight's episode of Glee - 9:00 E4 - Will decides to have the glee club perform The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the annual school musical after learning of Emma's new-found love for the cult classic. But, he has to put up with Sue's usual scheming along the way. Meanwhile, Finn worries about his body during rehearsals. Meat Loaf and Barry Bostwick make guest appearances.

Tuesday 8 February
Lion Country - 8:00 ITV - returns for a new series. Zulu and his pride move one step closer to release when they are sedated and rehomed, but the operation is potentially dangerous for conservationist David Youldon and the team because the lions could have an adverse reaction to the drugs at any time. The stakes are then raised when the males start to wake up during the journey.

Having been parodied to the point of ludicrousness by Come Fly With Me, you'd've thought TV documentary filmmakers would have given airports a miss for a while. Sadly not, it would appear. Stansted: The Inside Story - 8:00 Channel Five - is a documentary highlighting the work of baggage handlers, rangers and air operations teams who help to maintain order and efficiency behind the scenes at UK airports. Staff at Stansted Airport in Essex struggle to cope with the face of extreme wintry conditions, check-in employees deal with disgruntled customers, and a sick baby gives airport police cause for concern.

The Chinese Are Coming - 9:00 BBC2 - is the first of a two-part documentary in which Justin Rowlatt travels across three continents to investigate the spread of China's influence around the world, examining the validity of claims that the country might soon overtake America as the world's economic superpower. He begins by revealing how some Chinese entrepreneurs see Africa as a place of near-limitless business opportunities, setting up enterprises from Angola to Tanzania.

Wednesday 9 February
Coast's Neil Oliver and his lovely hair returns to our screens in the first of the four-part series A History of Ancient Britain - 9:00 BBC2. In this, Neil (and his lovely hair) explores how Britain and its people came to be, a story forged over thousands of years looking, specifically at the last ice age. Which might seem like ancient history to some but, given the cold snaps we've had to put up with the last three winters, it might be worth watching to see if you can pick up some useful tips for the next we get snowed in and the country grinds to a standstill. In South Wales, he joins a team of archaeologists to examine eight thousand-year-old footprints revealed beneath tidal mud banks, and in West Wales he abseils into a cave dating back thirty three thousand years. The historian also reveals how, as the last ice age receded some eleven thousand years ago, Britain became an island, a fate that was sealed following a cataclysmic tsunami around six thousand BC.

Madagascar - 8:00 BBC2 - sees David Attenborough narrating the story of the island in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa, an ecosystem that has stood in isolation for millions of years, and produced an array of wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. He begins by observing lemurs in their habitat, male red giraffe-necked weevils fighting each other, the courting rituals of chameleons, and the antics of spiders and fossas.

Tonight sees the latest episode of Waterloo Road - or, as it shall henceforth be known award-winning Waterloo Road - 8:00 BBC1. A year ten pupil is convinced that her mother is trying to steal her newborn daughter from her, so Janeece becomes involved - with dramatic consequences. Grantly's colleagues are concerned about his wellbeing and decide he needs more assistance at home, and an attraction develops between Jonah and Francesca during their one-to-one Spanish lessons. Drama, starring Chelsee Healey, Nadine Mulkerrin and Philip Martin Brown.

Thursday 10 February
Yer Keith Telly Topping's beloved The Culture Show returns - 7:00 BBC2 - bringing a bit of yer actual proper culutre to the brain-dead crushed victims of X-Factor to enhance their miserable and worthless lives with a smidgen of grace and class. Or something. Arty Andrew Graham-Dixon takes a tour of Westminster Abbey, which is currently undergoing restoration in preparation for this year's royal wedding. Alain de Botton delivers his philosophy on contemporary romance in the run-up to Valentine's Day and Miranda Sawyer meets Polly Harvey to discuss her new CD Let England Shake. Plus, Alastair Sooke talks to Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling about his latest exhibition at Tate St Ives.

There's also a new series of The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best - 8:00 BBC2. Wor Si King and Davey Myers celebrate comfort food as they travel around West Yorkshire and Lancashire. To yer actual Keith Telly Topping, dear blog reader, all food is comfort food. They sample a meat and potato pie made from a family recipe, a ginger sponge and custard prepared by a mother and daughter, and a curry recipe taken from a homemade cookbook. The pair also create their own comforting meals, including oxtail stew and creamy tomato soup with rouille.

Much trailed and much anticipated for everybody who was a fan of State of Play, Life on Mars, Hustle and, err, Survivors, there Mad Dogs - 9:00 Sky1. This is a four-part psychological thriller, starring Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren. Okay, I'm watching it. I don't care what it's about or anything, with that cast, it's got to have something to recommend it. Woody (Beesley), Quinn (Glenister), Baxter (Simm) and Rick (Warren) have been friends since sixth form. The fifth member of their gang is Alvo (played by Ben Chaplin), a risk-taking opportunist who, having made his fortune in property, leads a luxurious lifestyle in Majorca. Now in their forties, they've all taken different paths in life with varying degrees of success and have somewhat drifted apart. When Alvo flies them to his extravagant villa to celebrate his early retirement, they enjoy a trip down memory lane. However, all does not go to plan and they find themselves entangled in a web of deception and murder involving beautiful police women, large yachts, Speedos and a rather short assassin in a Tony Blair mask.

And so to the news: The BBC Red Button video service has launched on Freesat, bringing a range of video content to the platform. BBC Red Button was part of the Freesat launch in 2008, but the service lacked the video and rich media available on Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview. From Friday, Freesat viewers using both broadcast and IP-connected set top boxes will be able to enjoy video content via the Red Button, as well as access the Sport Multiscreen service that accompanied the initial launch. The move brings Freesat viewers a wide range of the BBC's video-based content, starting with the new Being Human spin-off, Becoming Human, on 30 January. There will also be exclusive content from new BBC Two comedy Episodes. Writing on the BBC Internet Blog, BBC Red Button service delivery manager Ronald Bullen said: 'We are aware that still not all services offered on our legacy platforms are available on Freesat; however, this is an exciting development for the BBC Red Button team and one we hope to build on in the future.' Last November, the BBC Trust called on the corporation to reduce the cost of running BBC Red Button and improve audience appreciation of the interactive TV service.

The executive producers of Lie To Me have claimed that viewers will not be disappointed by the third season finale. Alex Cary told TV Line that the events of next week's episode will 'make the fans only more hungry for a season four. This episode goes right to the heart [of] Lightman and Foster,' he said. 'We make absolutely clear the emotional involvement between these two and how strong that bond is. That's what the episode is about.' Fellow showrunner David Graziano also insisted that he and Cary are keen to avoid any speculation surrounding the show's future. 'You can't look over your shoulder like that,' he said. 'You can only keep your head down and do the work.' Cary added: 'We work on a great show, and we've learned how to run a show. If this one doesn't go [on], we'll do something else which will be as good, if not better.' However, Graziano admitted that a recent rise in the show's ratings have been 'like oxygen. FOX has been very clear with us,' agreed Cary. 'They know what the show is [and] they know what it can do. [The ratings bump] shows that people will come watch the show.'

The BBC has revealed details of a new talent format hosted by comedian Jason Byrne. The programme - titled Epic Win - will see 'Britain's funniest, weirdest, most amazing and unique talents' face the panel of judges including ex-EastEnders actor Joe Swash, who will sit alongside comedians Roisin Conaty and Micky Flanagan. Each judge will award the hopefuls a 'performance fee' of a cash amount between nothing and three thousand pounds - depending on how they rate their respective acts. Teasing the show while offering audience tickets, the broadcaster added: 'Epic Win shines a light on Britain's most eccentric characters and awards them money for the things they can do that nobody else can. You will be amazed.' So, it's a freak show in orther words. The programme will begin recording at BBC Television Centre on 8 February. Further details relating to the channel and date the show will be broadcast on were not confirmed.

Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights was the most complained-about programme on Channel Four last month, the broadcaster has revealed to no great surprise from anyone. The series – which was heavily criticised in the tabloid press for jokes about Katie Price’s disabled son, among others – attracted six hundred and eighty nine complaints. Which, given the wax that was exploding in the ears of the Daily Scum Mail, for instance, is actually a surprisingly small number. Typical was the viewer who said: 'I was offended by this programme. The commentary and sketches seemed to want to shock rather than provide entertainment. Very disappointing as I am normally a huge fan of this comedian.' Tragically, yer Keith Telly Topping agrees with every single word of that assessment. Another seven hundred and thirty five complaints have been received by regulator the Ofcom – including one from Price herself – which is now investigating whether the show breached the broadcasting code or not. However, the late-night comedy was also the third most praised show of December – after two Channel Four News reports. However, fans were much less vociferous than critics, with the broadcaster receiving just fifty three items of praise. One viewer said: 'Hilarious, dark and cutting. And best of all he has a pop at everyone and everything. Nothing is sacred. Thanks Channel Four for not censoring this TV gold.' More4's decision not to show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart every day received the second highest number of complaints, from five hundred and nineteen disgruntled viewers. Although critically praised, the show only attracted modest audiences of between sixty and ninety thousand viewers in Britain. The third most unpopular programme was also a comedy, The Morgana Show, which attracted forty five comments. One viewer summed up the complaints by saying: 'Most of this broadcast I found completely boring and a poor attempt at comedy, but let's leave that to taste. Amongst that which I found boring, one sketch stood out as down right distasteful.'

It has been announced that Jacqui Smith is making a documentary about pornography for BBC Radio 5Live. According to the Gruniad Morning Star, the former MP for Redditch will interview porn actors, filmmakers, politicians and feminist academics for Porn Again, a one-hour show. Smith said: 'As I know from my personal experience, porn fascinates us – media and public alike. But we actually know very little about what it's like to work in the industry and what porn is doing to our society, our children and our relationships. In making this programme, I've been able to challenge my own views and attitudes and I want others to have the chance to join the debate too.' The former Home Secretary resigned from the Cabinet in 2009 after a newspaper revealed that two pay-per-view adult films were submitted as part of her expenses claim. Smith was not at the family home on the two nights the films were viewed and her husband Richard Timney said that he had ordered them.

Colin Firth has explained that he has 'a problem' with the UK's unelected monarchy. During an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight, the actor initially tried to dodge a question about his personal feelings towards the royal family, saying: 'I think they seem very nice.' However, Firth later admitted that he has trouble supporting any institution that isn't brought to power by direct election. 'I really like voting. It's one of my favourite things,' he remarked. 'It (an unelected institution) is a problem for me.' Firth was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award earlier this week for his performance as King George VI in The King's Speech.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day, we have a potted history of yer actual sex. As it were. Firstly, of course, there's an unlimited supply. (And, get your hair cut, Tony Wilson!)Babies of Woodstock, get off your arses. Then, by order of Her Majesty, one you can't get for love or money. Then, because no bastard will actually let them play anywhere under the own moniker, how about a cheap holiday in other people's misery. Nice riff, Steve. 'In The City', isn't it?So, you've bought the singles (though not at WH Smiths where they've been banned) and now, it's November 1977 and you've managed to purchase your bollocks (in a brown paper bag, admittedly). And, you get it home to discover an added bonus. Kiss this. It all ended, of course, on a San Francisco stage and with massive recriminations. And then a couple of revival tours, but we tend to try and ignore those. But, the immediate aftermath was - if nothing else - at least effing funny. 'Elvis Presley died in 1959.' Go on, Tenpole, give it some mental. 'Elton John! Hair transplant!''Sid Vicious, rock and roll cliche.' Perhaps the ultimate in rock and roll swindles - kill yer idols. Meanwhile, yer actual Johnny abandoned the shitty ship MacLaren, got himself together with Keith Levene and Jah Wobble (and Richard Branson!) and released one of the best singles of the late seventies.Followed by another of the best singles of the late seventies! And, undoubtedly, the best three-twelve-inch-singles-in-a-metal-box package in the history of rock and roll. What a bunch of rotters!