Thursday, January 05, 2012

Send In The Boys

You might, if you're lucky, never have heard of Rick Santorum, dear blog reader. Which is probably just as well because, on the evidence of a statement he gave to the BBC about healthcare, the bloke appears to be a pig-ignorant arsehole with shit for brains. In case you didn't know, Mr Santorum is a former Republican senator currently running for the presidency of the United States. He also seems to be something of an odious bigoted individual if his views on gay marriage are any indication but, that's not my main reason for writing about him on this blog. He lost the first battle in the fight to be the Republican candidate for the White House, the Iowa caucuses to the, slightly, more centre-right Mitt Romney by just eight votes. Santorum has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's healthcare programme and has said that similar policies 'brought about the collapse of the British Empire.' Quite what the fuck this berk thinks he knows about either the British national health service or the end of the British Empire is the real question of the day. Here Newsnight's Peter Marshall challenges Santorum on what this clueless American gobshite meant by that statement and, indeed, whether he knows anything about my country. Americans, dear blog reader. For many of them - usually the ones who've never travelled more than twenty five miles from their farmstead in Nebraska and who think Deliverance is a documentary -  the world begins at the Golden Gate Bridge and ends at the Statue of Liberty. Unless they think there are votes in it, in which case they're suddenly experts on all manner of malarkey.

Following the - wholly manufactured - furore over the Frozen Planet polar bear footage, the BBC appears to be pre-empting any disgraceful scum tabloid hacks who might've taken five minutes off from indulging in illegal activity involving mobile phones to cast an eagle eye over its latest wildlife hit Great Barrier Reef. A feature about the BBC2 show on the BBC's website admits that the footage of a cone snail swallowing a fish was filmed 'in an aquarium at the James Cook University in Cairns, Australia' rather than on the Reef itself. Mind you, the Beeb also admitted on its website that the Frozen Planet bears were filmed in a zoo two weeks before the episode was even broadcast and that did not stop the tabloid shit scum going for that particular story.

Eddie Izzard has given details of his new political drama pilot with FX. Izzard is planning to reunite with the broadcaster, who he previously worked with on The Riches. The comic's new show currently has the working title The Politician and will feature Izzard playing a disgraced ex-congressman, who begins working as a political fixer for hire. 'It's about an amoral politician. It's about a guy who was a politician who is now a fixer, and he's lost his moral compass,' Izzard told the Digital Spy website. 'It's based on people you've heard of and people who worked for Nixon. They were called "The Plumbers." They arranged things, fixed things, set up things, twisted things and bugged things. They twisted things for the Republicans. This guy will just be a freelancer.'

Extensively trailed and advertised to run across the middle three nights of BBC1 peak-time this week, Public Enemies was what's known as 'event television': a brilliant writer in Tony Marchant, providing lines for a pair of very classy actors - Daniel Mays and Anna Friel. Unfortunately for anyone persuaded to switch on at 9pm on Tuesday, the drama became non-event television, shunted from the schedule at the last minute to allow the showing of a Panorama special timed to coincide with the guilty verdict delivered in the Stephen Lawrence murder trial earlier in the day. Public Enemies was re-arranged to start on Wednesday night instead and run until Friday. As a result, of course, this week's pre-printed listings supplements - and, indeed, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Top TV Tips - are suddenly unreliable.

Is disastrous ITV breakfast flop Daybreak slowly turning back into GMTV? Now that new editor David Kermode has arrived, Daybreak's old purple logo has been replaced this week by a new orange one, the same colour as, GMTV's former logo was to which it uncannily resembles.
Noel Clarke has signed up to appear in the sequel to Star Trek. The Doctor Who actor has joined fellow series newcomers Alice Eve and Peter Weller for the SF sequel from JJ Abrams, reports Variety. Clarke's role in the film has yet to be revealed, but he is set to play a 'family man with a wife and young daughter.' The British actor wrote and starred in the 2006 drama Kidulthood, and directed its sequel Adulthood. He later starred, produced, wrote and directed 2010 heist film 4.3.2.1.

An advert for gambling firm Paddy Power which was placed in a national newspaper has been banned by the UK advertising regulator as it was deemed 'socially irresponsible' for featuring a footballer who was under twenty five. A complainant contacted the Advertising Standards Authority about the advert, seen in the Sun on 15 October, which promised 'money-back' if Liverpool player Luis Suarez scored in the game against Manchester United. The advert featured a picture of the Uruguayan footballer, and the complainant was concerned that it was 'socially irresponsible' because he is under the age of twenty five. Paddy Power and News International, publisher of the Sun (along with the disgraced and disgraceful phone-hacking Scum of the World, of course), confirmed that Suarez was twenty four years old at the time the picture was taken, but denied that the advert would 'encourage young people to gamble' on the basis of his age or image. The companies attempted to argue that Suarez was the subject of the bet, as a professional footballer, rather than being connected with the act of gambling. But the ASA pointed to the advertising code rules which state that gambling services 'should not feature those under twenty five years of age gambling or playing a significant role.' 'At the time the ad appeared, Luis Suarez was twenty four years old. We noted Paddy Power believed that because he was the subject of the bet, Suarez was not playing a significant role in relation to the act of gambling,' said the regulator. 'However, we considered that because he was pictured individually and was the focus of the ad, he was likely to be seen by consumers to be playing a significant role.' The ASA banned the advertisement, and warned Paddy Power not to feature anyone under twenty five again in their gambling adverts in such prominent roles.

Manchester United's title challenge suffered yet another blow after The Scum were, very satisfyingly, swept aside by yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though, still unsellable) Magpies at a windswept St James Park on Wednesday evening. The visitors, who lost to Blackburn Vindaloos on New Year's Eve, went behind before the break when Demba Ba hooked in his fifteenth goal of the season from Shola Amoebi's flick-on. Yohan Cabaye doubled Newcastle's lead with a screaming thirty-yard free-kick before Phil Jones - amusingly - diverted in a late own goal via his knee.
And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, in tribute to My Boony Toon and their significant efforts (particularly in the first game in which they were running around with the word 'Virgin' plastered across their chests!), here's something from Wor Jackie Milburn.

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