Thursday, January 26, 2012

She's Built For Speed

Matt Smith revealed backstage at the National Television Awards that he has 'no plans to leave' Doctor Who in the immediate future. Not that anyone who actually matters had ever indicated for a single second that he did have plans to leave, of course, but still ... When asked whether his co-star Karen Gillan's exit had changed his mind on how long he would stay on the show, Smith insisted that he was happy to carry on with new companions for the foreseeable future. 'I always knew that me and Karen would have slightly different journeys in the show. People say, "Are you not sad?" I am sad because I have enjoyed worked with Karen and Arthur [Darvill], they are wonderful guys. But the show is bigger than all of us actors in it,' he said. 'It's bigger than everyone in it and it will continue far longer, way after me. I am here for a very small period of time. I'm here for the future, I love working on the show. I have no plans to leave.' Smith later added that he has 'a year of Who, and then I'll take it from there' adding that he would like to, eventually, move into films. 'I am interested in films, I've always loved the idea and process of films and I am actually interested in directing.'

The Ideal Night mentioned in a previous blog has now been confirmed. It will take place at Newcastle's The Stand venue on 6 March. Johnny Vegas and creator Graham Duff will be joined by cast members Seymour Mace, Ben Crompton, yer actual Alfie Joey, Mick Miller, Jo Enright and Peter Slater for a unique evening of stand-up and celebration of the award-winning BBC sitcom. The event will see the cast discuss their personal selection of favourite clips and anecdotes from over fifty episodes. There will also be a question and answer session with the audience, as well as an interactive quiz to find out who knows most about Ideal, plus a live DVD extra session where the cast will re-dub a chosen episode live and exclusive to that evening's show. If you're a fan of the series, or just a stand-up aficionado, then this is an unmissable opportunity to get up close and personal. Further details are available at The Stand's website. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is hoping to blag his way into the gig and gain a few interviews. As yer man Johnny Vegas notes: 'Folk say you should never meet your heroes, so why not come see me instead?'

Meanwhile another local event that yer actual Keith Telly Topping will be attending is yer actual Scunthorpe Stevie Drayton's The Record Player which will be commencing its second series of vinyl mayhem at the Tyneside Cinema from 1 March. Join broadcaster, comedian, music-aficionado and yer actual Keith Telly Topping's gaffer, Mr Drayton as The Record Player returns and we turn down the lights to give you the opportunity to enjoy classic LPs in the way that they were meant to be heard: in their entirety, on vinyl. Each night features an introduction to the LP of the night by Mr Drayton his very self, followed by a listening session and post-LP banter in the Digital Lounge. On 12 April, eight contributors choose their all time favourite 45rpm single, with two minutes to tell the audience why they love it so, then play it! Records lined-up for the latest run include Sgt Pepper's, OK Computer, The Queen Is Dead (on which Steve will be using yer actual Keith Telly Topping's own copy!) and a contextually fascinating 'New York Punk' double-bill of Horses and Marquee Moon. Bring it on. So, if you're in the vague North Tyneside area and you like the idea of sitting in a dark room with twenty or thirty other people listening to a bit of quality vinyl, get yerself along.

Now, speaking of The Record Player, the last time yer actual Keith Telly Topping saw Emmerdale's Charlie Hardwick was, as it happens, at the Ziggy Stardust Record Player night where she was having a great time dancing with her friends over in the corner of the Digial Lounge. It was quite a sight. Well, now Charlie has revealed that she would like to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. The actress, who is currently on a break from her role as Val Pollard in the soap in order to star in a new play on Tyneside, said that she has always wanted to learn to dance because she used to be 'a headbanger.' From the evidence of that Record Player night, Charlie, you still are! Charlie told the Evening Chronicle: 'Would I ever do a reality show? I'm a vegetarian so I can't go in the jungle. I would do Strictly. I'd like to learn how to dance. I'm a headbanger from The Mayfair in the '70s, so it's about time I upped the ante a bit. I think I'd be out in the first week! I certainly couldn't do Twatting About on Ice but Strictly has a certain elegance.' Carlie admitted that she has been put off ever appearing on Celebrity Big Brother after watching her long-time friend Denise Welch being caught up in a row with her younger female housemates. She said: 'If it was me, it would have been the first live strangulation. So I think I'd better not [do Big Brother].'

Some proper good news now. Test Match Special will continue live broadcast of England's cricketing fortunes in all home series until 2019 at least. The BBC and the England and Wales Cricket Board have agreed a new six-year deal which will ensure ball-by-ball radio coverage of international matches. Two Ashes series and tours by India in 2014 and South Africa in 2017 will be among the highlights of live and exclusive commentary which will encompass all England's home Test, one-day and Twenty20 internationals. 'This is excellent news for all cricket-lovers,' said the ECB chief executive, David Collier. 'Test Match Special brings cricket into millions of homes in this country each summer and is widely recognised for its unique and world-class coverage of cricket.' Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: 'Test Match Special, now in its fifty fifth year, is one of the most treasured programmes on the BBC with its unique mix of expert commentary, insight, humour and entertainment. In a new digital era, the programme and its accompanying download have never been more popular with its audience.'

The sound of birdsong is enough to lift even the most miserly spirits. But not if it is the BBC period drama of the same name. The Daily Toryegraph - with typical scummish glee - reports that 'viewers' have complained about Birdsong, broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday night, because of 'the actors' poor diction and mumbled lines.'
Shocking. Presumably those whinging complainants didn't bat an eyelid at the show's steamy sex scenes.

Speaking of which, how naughty of ITV was it to show that scene from A Scandal in Belgravia at 8:40 in the evening (exactly the same time as it went out on the BBC) when Lara Pulvar was presenting a prize at the National Television Awards? 'The Daily Mail will be very pleased to hear I am wearing clothes this evening' said Lara, cheekily. On the contrary, however, love, they won't. The Daily Scum Mail would've loved it if you'd walked out on the stage stark ruddy naked. Because it would have given then an excuse to write another shitehawk scum 'exclusive' about what a bastard disgrace it all is and how somebody should ban this sick filth. And it would've given their lice scum readers an excuse to, you know, get The Horn over some perceived outrage of other. Missed opportunity there, m'dear.

The National Television Awards helped ITV to a rare midweek victory over BBC1, overnight data has revealed. Hosted by Dermot O'Dreary, the annual ceremony attracted an average of 6.18m between 7.30pm and 10pm, roughly even on last year. its peak was around 6.7m. DIY SOS: The Big Build (3.61m) and MasterChef (3.9m - its lowest audience for a single episode since the first week of the 2010 series) were most affected by the competition.

For an alternative viewpoint on the NTAs, the Daily Mash have their say!

Torchwood's Eve Myles has expressed her hope that the show will return. The actress told CultBox that the SF drama should come back in some form to give fans closure. 'As far as I know at the moment, everything's still very much on hold,' she explained. 'Nothing's going to happen in 2012, I know that much for sure. But who knows what will happen in 2013? Maybe a movie, to kinda draw a line under it.' Myles continued: 'John [Barrowman] is very much on the same page as me, in that if and when they need us, they can just pick the phone up and we will be there before they've even put the phone down, because it's something we love doing.' Myles added that she has her 'fingers crossed' that Torchwood will resume at some point. 'Every series we've changed our format [and] we've always had a gap in between,' she said. 'We've got such an outstanding loyal fan base. They deserve Torchwood to go ahead with something else to draw a line under it, for the fans to have a bit of closure.' She also suggested that any new project should film in Wales, following the predominantly US-set Torchwood: Miracle Day. 'I think it'd be nice to be back in Wales,' she said. 'That's where it was born and maybe it'd be nice to end it there.'

ITV is planning to capitalise on the popularity of The Killing and Borgen by acquiring its own Danish drama. The broadcaster's digital channel ITV3 is close to finalising a deal to pick up Those Who Kill, a crime series written by bestselling Danish author Elsebeth Egholm. Broadcast magazine says that it 'understands' ITV3 is 'lining-up' the drama for this year and will sign a contract with Trust Nordisk, Those Who Kill's distributor, in the next few weeks. It is unclear whether the broadcaster will pick up the six parter ninety-minute version of the drama or will broadcast it as twelve forty five minute episodes. Miso Film produced the drama on a budget of £9.5m and it first aired on public broadcaster TV2 last year, pulling in a record share of twelve one to fifty year-old viewers. Unlike in The Killing, where detective Sarah Lund works to solve a single crime, the police unit in Those Who Kill gets to grips with a number of cases over the course of the series. The detective team is based in Copenhagen and is headed by inspector Katrina Ries Jensen (played by Laura Bach). It would represent a rare acquisition for ITV3 and is a clear move to capitalise on the critical and ratings success BBC4 enjoyed with The Killing last year. Borgen has gone on to secure more acclaim and audiences of up to six hundred and thirty thousand this year.

Desperate fame-hungry wannabe Amy Childs's reality show has reportedly been axed by Channel Five after one series. The former Only Way Is Essex contestant fronted the alleged 'fly-on-the-wall' series It's All About Amy following her stint in the broadcaster's inaugural series of Celebrity Big Brother last year. The show's December premiere attracted a disappointing five hundred thousand viewers and ratings dipped to just three hundred thousand crushed victims of society by the end of the series, with Channel Five 'insiders' putting the slump down to 'a lack of engaging content.' And, the fact that it was shit. 'The fly-on-the-wall format didn't really work because there wasn't a lot going on,' an alleged 'source' alleged told the Mirra. 'TOWIE at least has a few different cast members, but watching Amy drive to TV studios and train her dogs was just tedious.' A Channel Five spokesperson said that the broadcaster is discussing 'other opportunities on the channel' with Childs. Why, is another matter entirely.

A Channel Four documentary about bare-knuckle fighting in the traveller community has prompted complaints about animal cruelty and child abuse. Ofcom received two hundred and eighty nine complaints about Gypsy Blood, which was broadcast last week. C4 also received a number of complaints. A spokesman for the TV watchdog said the complaints were 'being assessed.' He added that scenes which showed cock-fighting and dogs attacking deer were included to 'accurately reflect the experiences of the film-maker.' Directed by Leo Maguire, Gypsy Blood - part of the True Stories series - was seen by more than two million viewers. A Channel Four spokeswoman said: 'To accurately reflect the experiences of the film-maker who spent years documenting the culture of two gypsy families, including hunting and fighting, some scenes were included that viewers may have found difficult to watch but were justified in context. The programme was preceded by on-air warnings and appropriately scheduled.' Animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, said they would also be making an official complaint. 'The RSPCA has now begun an investigation into activities shown in the programme,' a statement said. 'We would urge anyone who shares our concern at the programme's content to also contact Channel Four and Ofcom to register their disapproval.'

A twenty four-year-old man has been jailed after falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis Walsh of sexual assault. Unemployed dance teacher Leonard Watters admitted making two false reports that Walsh had groped him in a Dublin nightclub in April 2011. At Dublin District Court, Judge Dermot Dempsey sentenced Watters, from Navan in County Meath, to six months' jail but granted him bail to appeal. Walsh had consistently denied Watters' claims against him. On 9 April last year, Watters had told a Garda officer outside the Krystle nightclub that Walsh had assaulted him in the club's toilets. Two months later he made two formal statements to police but was arrested after admitting fabricating his story when faced with CCTV footage that did not support his version of events. Watters continued to claim he had been sexually assaulted but not by Walsh. Watters' lawyer, Cahir O'Higgins, had appealed to the court not to jail his client, saying Watters' life had been 'a tragic series of disasters' and that he was now a laughing stock. 'For ever and a day, he will be known as the guy who accused Louis Walsh in the wrong,' O'Higgins said. 'He is a vulnerable, fragile human being, who behaved appallingly without giving real thought to the consequences for the injured party.' But Judge Dempsey said the public had to be protected against false allegations.

Happy Harry Redknapp told a reporter he had 'no need' to try to save thirty thousand pounds by dodging tax, a court has heard. The jury was played a taped interview between the journalist full-of-his-own-importance Rob Beasley and former Portsmouth manager Redknapp. He scoffed at the idea that he tried to save income tax by having bungs paid by Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric into an offshore account, jurors were told. Redknapp and Mandaric both deny charges of cheating the public revenue during their time at Portsmouth. Jurors heard the interview by then Scum of the World reporter Beasley was recorded the day before Redknapp led Tottenham into the League Cup final against Manchester United in 2009. Redknapp said: 'Do me a favour. I tried to nick thirty thousand pounds to save on income tax?' Redknapp called Mandaric as he attempted to convince the reporter 'everything I do, I do above board', jurors head. In the recording played to Southwark Crown Court, Redknapp was heard talking to Mandaric, with Beasley listening on another line. The manager is heard saying: 'I spoke to Rob Beasley earlier. You know you paid the income, you paid the tax on that money in America right? Of course you did, yeah.' Cor blimey, do what? Leave it out. Knock-it-on-the-'ead, guv'nor. Didn't you kill my bruvva? Nah, must've been me. Redknapp was heard shouting over the phone earlier at Beasley as he denied Mandaric's explanation that the deposits in his Monaco bank account were connected with dealings outside football. Redknapp said: 'You're going to write what you want to write. I know what's going to happen Rob and you're all barking up the wrong tree.' He then threatened to sue the Scum of the World if it said the tax had not been declared, jurors were told. Beasley, appearing in the witness box, said he did not tell Redknapp the conversation was recorded. The journalist, who worked as a senior sports writer at the paper between 1994 and 2009, said that he wanted to make sure 'I feel one hundred per cent accurate.' Beasley said later: 'I would be more afraid of the News of the World than the police.' The journalist told jurors he used 'flattery, friendship and a little bit of kidology' in talking to Redknapp and Mandaric before his story went to print. Beasley said he paid a source who was 'absolutely not' a member of City of London Police or HM Revenue and Customs. In one of the recorded conversations, Redknapp said 'one day Rob, I'd like to know who done it' and 'make sure I reward you, treble strong.' Southwark Crown Court previously heard Redknapp opened a Monaco bank account in the name of Rosie 47 - a combination of his pet dog's name and the year of his birth - which he allegedly kept secret from his accountant for four-and-a-half years. The third day of the hearing began with the prosecution claiming that statements given by Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric, about the account were 'contradictory' and 'inconsistent'. It is alleged that Redknapp, who lives in Poole, Dorset, received around one hundred and eighty thousand smackers which he had 'no intention' of declaring for tax purposes. Redknapp and Mandaric each deny two charges of cheating the public revenue. The case continues.

The Scottish actor Nicol Williamson, best known for his role as the wizard Merlin in the 1981 film Excalibur, has died aged seventy five, his family has announced. The actor died of oesophageal cancer shortly before Christmas in Amsterdam, where he lived. A much respected stage actor, he was nominated for his first TONY Award in 1966 for Inadmissible Evidence. Playwright John Osborne once called him 'the greatest actor since Marlon Brando.' Williamson was nominated for his second TONY Award in 1974, for his role in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. He won a Drama Desk award the same year for the role. Born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, he attended the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama. He made his professional stage debut at the Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1960, before appearing in Tony Richardson's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre. He later teamed up with Richardson again, to star his Hamlet production at the Roundhouse. It was so successful it later transferred to Broadway and was adapted into a film, which co-starred Anthony Hopkins and Marianne Faithfull in 1969. Nicol went on to star in numerous other stage productions. Some of his other notable film performances are as an alcoholic attorney in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, a Colonel in the Cincinnati Gestapo in Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective, a suicidal Irish soldier in the 1968 film The Bofors Gun, a very good Sherlock Holmes in the 1976 Herbert Ross film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Little John in the 1976 Richard Lester film Robin and Marian. More recently he appeared as Lord Louis Mountbatten in Lord Mountbatten - The Last Viceroy (1985), the dual roles of Dr Worley and The Nome King in Return To Oz (1985) and Badger in the 1996 movie adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. His best known film roles included Merlin in John Boorman's Excalibur and Father Morning in The Exorcist III.' His final screen appearance was in 1997 picture Spawn. His TV work included early appearances in Z Cars, Six, Horror of Darkness and Thirty Minute Theatre and a memorable eye-rolling turn in an episode of Columbo. Williamson was reportedly working on a new CD of music before his death, and his son told the Daily Torygraph he was as yet undecided over whether to post it on the actor's website. In a statement on the website, his son Luke Williamson said: 'It's with great sadness, and yet with a heart full of pride and love for a man who was a tremendous father, friend, actor, poet, writer and singer, that I must bring news of Nicol's passing.' He went on to say his father passed 'peacefully' ending his two year struggle with cancer. 'He gave it all he had: never gave up, never complained, maintained his wicked sense of humour to the end. His last words were "I love you." I was with him, he was not alone, he was not in pain.' Luke said his father was also survived by his wife, Jill Townsend.

Blimey, the government's latest anti-drugs campaign is a bit scatological.
For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, lordy mama, it's Little Richard.

1 comment:

Lisa P x said...

"I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed
But I got everything all the good girls need"

Just adding some Howlin' Wolf to the Little Richard mix.