Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week Six: Stung

Russell Davies has told the Observer that children's programming is an 'endangered species.' He said that he was shocked that ITV no longer makes children's shows and added that writers of hits such as Teletubbies should be ranked alongside acclaimed dramatists such as Tom Stoppard and Samuel Beckett. Davies, who started his TV career working on Granada's Children's Ward for ITV in the 1990s, said: 'I am passionate about children's television, but it is, as ever, an endangered species, under threat. The most shocking thing I have seen is that, apparently unnoticed, five years ago ITV dropped children's programmes. There is now the complete absence of children's programmes made by ITV on CITV. It is amazing to me, when I contrast it with all those people who were furious about cuts to BBC local radio, and they were immediately reversed.' The difference there, Rusty, being that the BBC is accountable to its consumers, commercial television isn't. The Welsh-born writer and producer added: 'I am also amazed that people don't recognise the talent, genius, of children's writers, for example, Andrew Davenport. The creator behind Teletubbies and In the Night Garden is up there, in my opinion, with Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett, but no one puts him there. It's the same with Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have led to the wonderful Tracy Beaker dramas.' The failure of society to recognise the talent of children's writers 'allows us to diminish and marginalise their work' and the importance of children's television, he said. An ITV spokesman countered Davies's view, saying: 'We are supportive of the UK children's production industry. We have premiered seven commissions from producers in the past twelve months on the CITV channels, including Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge, Sooty, and the third series of Horrid Henry.' Davies's heart lies with children's television. His latest project, Aliens Vs Wizards, is being talked about as one of the biggest new dramas for children to come out of Britain. It combines medieval wizardry with alien fantasy and will be screened by the BBC this autumn. Davies, who first gained wider recognition writing the Channel Four adult series Queer as Folk, stepped down as executive producer of Doctor Who in 2009 and moved to Los Angeles, where he oversaw production of Doctor Who spin-offs, Torchwood: Miracle Day and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He returned to his Manchester home at the end of last year after his partner was diagnosed with brain cancer. Davies embarked on Aliens Vs Wizards a year ago when it became clear that The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was the most popular show on CBBC last year, would be forced to end with series five following the death of its star, Elisabeth Sladen. Davies arranged to meet one of his collaborators on Doctor Who, the writer Phil Ford, for dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant to talk about new ventures. 'When you try like that, usually you never have an idea,' Davies said. But by the time the two men had finished their main course they both knew they had come up with a 'really geeky idea, the cleverest of the lot,' which taps into the latest film and TV craze, mashing up different genres – as seen in the film Cowboys & Aliens, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, released last year. They decided to focus the new drama on two sixteen-year-olds, Tom and Benny, one secretly in possession of magical powers, the other a super-bright scientific brain, who does not believe in magic. They combine their skills to battle a tribe of aliens, called the Nekross, to save the world. From the dark side of the moon, the Nekross set up a base to scan the earth, looking for magical skills to buttress their power and, naturally, destroying anything that stands in their way. The idea was quickly turned into a first script, then an order for twenty six episodes. Davies said: 'Magic and science fiction are never combined. For example, the only thing that could make Harry Potter better, in my view, would be if a big spaceship arrives at the door of Hogwarts, but it never does. It does in ours, in episode one.' At the core is an ideological clash as the two boys argue over the separate worlds of magic and science, such as the existence of spells versus, say, laser technology. Davies added that the trick was to create a drama based on ordinary life, as in The Sarah Jane Adventures, set in Ealing, into which fantasy intrudes. 'Remember, I spent my whole childhood waiting for the Daleks to arrive in my school playground,' said Davies. The wizard teenager is descended from a family of wizards, but he keeps this a secret and attends a comprehensive school. Aliens Vs Wizards will also feature lots of prosthetic monsters, as in Doctor Who, and not just computer generated imagery. The lavish multimillion-pound series, which starts filming in the Cardiff drama studios of BBC Wales in March, is being financially backed by FremantleMedia Enterprises, to supplement CBBC budgets. In return for the investment, Fremantle, not the BBC, has global sales rights, as well as rights to DVDs, merchandising and book publishing. Sander Schwartz, president of Children and Family Entertainment at FME, and based in Hollywood, said: 'It does something which is very hard to do, successfully, mashing together two disparate genres. We have already had great success with My Babysitter's A Vampire [a global hit on the Disney channels], a mix of comedy and horror, because it does something different.' There are dangers in creating mash-ups. Aliens Vs Wizards is expected to receive the close attention of Davies. His current challenge is the stuff of every fan's dreams: he is pondering what colour to make his Nekross aliens.

And so to this week's Top Telly Tips:

Saturday 4 February
In the final two episode of the first series of Borgen- 9:00 BBC4 - Danish defence minister Hans Christian Thorsen arranges a contract for new fighter jets. But controversy erupts when new facts emerge about the deal, leaving members of parliament facing a barrage of media criticism. Though Birgitte is surprised at the defence minister's choice of new planes, she allows him to make public the decision on the government's behalf. When unpleasant surprises surface in the wake of the purchase, the media launch an offensive against members of parliament. Meanwhile, Birgitte becomes more and more controlling both at work and at home. Katrine, meanwhile, runs into problems with her boss when she acts too arbitrarily. Then, Birgitte is put under pressure on the eve of the new parliamentary year, as her ratings in opinion polls decline, the media delves into her private life and the increasingly powerful Labour party demands more influence in government. An over-stretched Kasper reluctantly makes a deal that has far more serious consequences than anticipated, while Katrine is given a chance to return to TV1 News.

Cathy convinces Agnes to build bridges with Dermot's mother-in-law Hillary ahead of the baby's birth, and suggests they go out to dinner together in the last episode of the second series of Mrs Brown's Boys - 9:30 BBC1. However, the evening comes to an abrupt end for the two feuding matriarchs when expectant mum Maria goes into labour, and the Browns are forced to rush her to hospital. Meanwhile, there is bickering aplenty in the Brown household, as Rory and Dino are on the rocks and Agnes and Betty rub each other up the wrong way. Comedy, written by and starring Brendan O'Carroll.

Harry Hill returns for what now appears to be his final series for ITV in Harry Hill's TV Burp - 7:15. And, not before time, frankly. The funnyman is back for one the final series of the comedy small-screen review, which frankly seems - to this blogger, anyway - to have been running on empty for two or three series now. Once unmissable television, it's become stale, predictable and, in its choice of targets, establishment. Nevertheless, Harry is promising 'the usual soap spoofs, reality show send-ups, humorous fights and the odd song or two' as he casts his TV net wide for more unmissable Burp moments. 'More of the same' in other words. Yeha, like I say, about two series too many, I reckon. It'll be interesting to see who he signs up for next and whether he comes up with anything original.

Sunday 5 February
Tony Robinson and the team head to Dunwich in Suffolk, which is slowly being eaten away by coastal erosion in the latest episode of Time Team - 4:20 Channel Four. Yes, that's not a misprint, this really does start at twenty past four in the afternoon. So much for Channel Four's 'commitment' to the show. Anyway, this could be a last chance to find out more about the lost origins of this dramatically situated town before it is lost to the sea. Could it even be possible to prove conclusively that it dates from Anglo-Saxon times? But the archaeologists face a huge challenge. And not just from the salty brine lapping around their ankles as they try to dig up the past. Up around the old walls they have to dig one of the deepest trenches they've attempted in recent years. And on a second site by the popular beach cafe, they're searching for an early medieval hospital. But it's not easy to access in the gaps between the fish and chip shop, the crowded car park and the public toilets. In a bid to ascertain whether the town dates back to the Anglo-Saxon, they dig one of the largest trenches they have attempted, while Mick Aston, keen to understand the layout of the vanishing town, uses sophisticated sonar technology to search beneath the waves sets poor old put-upon John and the geophysics experts a Herculean surveying task. They love it, dear blog reader.

Jeremy Clarkson and James May travel to Beijing to learn about China's car industry, which has seen a huge expansion in recent years - but they also have a violent encounter with one of The Stig's overseas cousins in Top Gear - 8:00 BBC2. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond takes time off from laughing at boastful overweight show-offs from the home counties falling flat on their fact in the mud on Total Wipeout to immerses himself in the world of NASCAR at a race in Texas. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is wrestled around the test track, emitting serious amounts of noise and smoke in the process and upsetting environmentalists everywhere. Which is, of course, always good for a laugh. Matt LeBlanc is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Expect some hippy Communist louse in the Gruniad Morning Star to start scouring the Internet to try and find someone whinging about something related to this episode and how it's 'offensive' about five second after the episode ends.

Actor Ewan McGregor and his pilot brother Colin explore the role RAF Bomber Command played during the Second World War, when it co-ordinated raids against Axis targets in Bomber Boys - 9:00 BBC1. The programme traces the obstacles and challenges that were overcome as the Royal Air Force developed the unit over six years of wartime operations and highlights examples of individual heroism and extraordinary collective spirit. Colin also learns to fly the key aircraft of the campaign, the Lancaster bomber. The film focuses primarily on the men who fought and died in the skies above occupied Europe, with numerous examples of heroism and extraordinary collective spirit. But this is also the story of a controversy that has lasted almost seventy years. The programme covers six years of wartime operations, and traces the problems that were overcome as the RAF developed and deployed the awesome fighting force that was Bomber Command.

The Cricklewood Greats - 9:00 BBC4 - is a spoof documentary, presented by Peter Capaldi, telling the story of Cricklewood Film Studios, a fictional British movie company. Peter charts its contributions to cinematic history, ranging from silent comedies to gory horror films, and recalls the often turbulent lives of some of its biggest stars. Cricklewood Greats takes viewers from the early silent movie experiments of Arthur Sim, through the 1930s comedies of Florrie Fontaine and the glory years of the Thumbs Up movies, to the 1970s exploitation horror movies starring Lionel Crisp, and the ultimate folie de grandeur of Terry Gilliam's Professor Hypochondria's Magical Odyssey which finally destroyed the studios in the early 1980s. The programme also features interviews with the - very real - Terry Gilliam ('the American one') and actress Marcia Warren. Note: Cricklewood Film Studios is entirely fictional, and every frame of footage has been lovingly restored from the vaults of Peter Capaldi's fertile imagination. Sounds worth an hour of anyone's time.

Toby Whithouse's supernatural drama Being Human returns - 9:00 BBC3. Annie, George and Tom go back to their B&B home in Barry Island, but all is not well. John Mitchell is gone, having willingly fallen victim to the wolf-shaped bullet, and the supernatural friends now has to take care of a baby, one whose werewolf heritage appears to have attracted the attention of the vampire overlords known as The Old Ones. It's not easy protecting a newborn child from marauding vampires when you're a ghost and a couple of werewolves, but this is what our heroes must do - whatever the cost. Starring Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey and Michael Socha, and introducing Damien Molony as Hal.

Monday 6 February
In the second episode of the new series of Whitechapel - 9:00 ITV - the case takes on an almost supernatural edge when a second mass murder occurs, with no obvious signs of a break-in, no escape route and no forensics left at the scene. Chandler, Miles and the team unearth more about the infamous Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811, hoping to avoid making the same mistakes and solve the case before further lives are lost. But with three hundred years of dark and scary East End history for Buchan to sift through, will the team be able to use the nightmares of the past be to solve the horrors of the present? Crime thriller, starring Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton.

Andrew Marr, obviously on the look out for an OBE in the next new Year's honours list, explores the life and achievements of Elizabeth II, sixty years after she acceded to the throne in Andrew Marr Licks The Diamond Queen - 9:00 BBC1. He begins with a look at the duties she carries out at home and abroad, hearing from other members of the royal family, including Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Edward and Princess Anne, who reveal the remarkable skills she has acquired in decades of walkabouts, state visits and receptions, and the energy she puts into every engagement. What he doesn't discuss is that this is the Twenty First Century and whether a monarchy is either relevant or necessary in today's society. Whether in David Cameron's broken British where we're all supposed to be in it together, the Queen's fourteen houses and massive drain of the taxes of the nation aren't a resource that could be put to more productive use. Because that wouldn't go down well with the Daily Scum Mail. Contributors Cameron his very self, Tony Blair and John Major give an insight into the working relationships she has had with the twelve prime ministers who have held office during her reign. After all that, they'll probably makes Andrew and Earl and an OBE. Then, he'll be an earlobe. Which, in his case, is rather fitting.

Gus Casely-Hayford explores the history of South Africa's Zulu kingdom in the second episode of Lost Kingdoms of Africa - 9:00 BBC4. He examines its Seventeenth Century origins, charts its expansion under notorious military leader King Shaka, and recalls the battles its warriors fought against the Boers and the British. He also tries to define the source of its cultural and military power, and discovers why its influence can still be felt today.

Police describe the pressures of carrying guns on the nation's streets, and defend the use of Tasers as a vital tool on the front line of the fight against crime in Coppers - 9:00 Channel Four - which is rapidly turning into cult viewing. Officers also detain a man accused of threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, arrest a woman for terrifying a former friend with a pistol, and stop a vehicle believed to contain a weapon.
Tuesday 7 February
Model Katie Piper, who was badly disfigured and partially blinded after being attacked with acid in 2008, has been the subject of several -excellent Channel Four documentaries in the past. In the latest one she investigates a new surgical procedure which could potentially restore her sight by transplanting stem cells directly into her left eye in Katie: The Science of Seeing Again - 9:00 Channel Four. She explores the science behind the operation, and investigates the ethical debate surrounding the use of cells extracted from human embryos - a practice that some people argue is morally unjustifiable, but which others believe could revolutionise the world of medicine.

Professor Iain Stewart explores how plants played a major part in changes to Earth throughout history in the first of the three-part How To Grow A Planet - 9:00 BBC2. From caves in Vietnam to African deserts, he reveals how vegetation first harnessed the sun's light to create a life-giving atmosphere, and investigates the battle between dinosaurs and the world's tallest trees. He also uses imagery techniques to show plants breathing and communicating.

Death comes to us all eventually. Yes, even Bruce Forsyth. But if it is unexplained, unexpected or the cause is unknown, it has to be investigated by the Coroner's Court a process described in full in Death Unexplained - 10:35 BBC1. This three-part documentary follows coroner Alison Thompson and her team as they examine mysterious, violent and unnatural deaths in west London. The first episode features a rare case of suspected poisoning, a possible prescription drug overdose and a man whose body lay undiscovered for months, with contributions from the families of the deceased revealing the human story behind the forensic tests.

A repeat, but a good one is tonight's episode of Benidorm - 10:35 ITV. A freak storm delays Pauline's return flight and tempts her to have a drink. Lesley struggles to keep the punters entertained, and Janice is shocked to run into an old flame. Natalie has to juggle the attentions of both Liam and Mateo, who are equally determined to win her affections, and Michael looks set to experience his first holiday romance. Meanwhile, Donald reveals that his health situation may be a little more serious than he originally thought. Comedy, with Tim Healy, Selina Griffiths and Siobhan Finneran.

Wednesday 8 February
It's the last episode of The Fabulous Baker Boys tonight - 8:30 Channel Four. Tom and Henry Herbert tackle dishes people often think are difficult, including beef Wellington and a high-calorie lardy cake. The brothers also demonstrate how to make a smokehouse for flavouring hot dogs, and conclude the pie war by trying to impress the National Association of Master Bakers.

John tells Moira he wants a divorce, but her shock turns to anger when she discovers Chas already knew of his plans. Katie tries to adjust to new surroundings after moving in with Declan, and Amy shares her worries about Eric and Val with David in the latest episode of Emmerdale - 7:00 ITV. Val's alright, love, don't worry. She's currently in a play at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. She'll be back sooner or later.

The eight remaining contestants are split into groups, with each challenged to prepare a dish that captures the heart and philosophy of France, Italy or Spain in MasterChef - 9:00 BBC1. They are given masterclasses in their chosen country's cuisine by Italian Francesco Mazzei, Spanish tapas specialist Ben Tish and French chef Bruno Loubet, before demonstrating to judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace what they have learned.

Writer and gardener Sarah Raven tries to encourage the creation of crucial habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects in Bees, Butterflies and Blooms - 8:00 BBC2. She begins in Northamptonshire by urging a village to choose wildflowers over neat grass lawns, and meets farmer Duncan Farrington, who is considering growing the plants at the edges of his crops. She also demonstrates how flowers helpful to insects can be cultivated at home.

Thursday 9 February
Yesterday, John was a responsible working man; today he is planning an armed robbery at the cash depot where he works with colleagues Chris and Marcus in Inside Men - 9:00 BBC1. First on the trio's list is someone to carry out the heist for them. Marcus has a contact, who can provide guns and muscle - but the businessman in question wants to know they are serious and demands to see some money first, threatening the deal. Meanwhile, John becomes more assertive and takes control of the gang. Drama, starring Steven Mackintosh, Ashley Walters, Warren Brown and Nicola Walker.

Zak and Tom defend a man accused of murdering his brother and as they strive to uncover what once bound the siblings, they go into battle with Richard - who has significantly raised his game in the final episode of ITV's flop fantasy drama Eternal Law - 9:00. Mrs Sheringham is tempted to leave York by an offer from Carl, while Hannah has a decision to make. Starring Samuel West and Ukweli Roach. It won't be back.

The concluding Winter Road Rescue - 9:00 Channel Five - following snowplough teams and RAC patrols working to ensure Britain's roads are clear during winter. The Scottish town of Lochcarron is cut off by a landslide of rocks and trees during a heavy storm - and with schools and businesses suffering, rescue teams spring into action immediately. Meanwhile, an RAC man is called to a breakdown on the hard shoulder of the M1 in West Yorkshire, where he finds the driver wandering around at the side of the motorway, oblivious to the danger.

The Government plans to have fifteen per cent of the UK's total energy requirements generated by renewable sources by 2020. Jonathan Maitland investigates what impact this target could have on household bills, with the proposals having led to a number of innovative, yet highly subsidised, schemes in the latest episode of ITV's concerned busybody strand Tonight, The Cost of Going Green - 7:30.

Friday 10 February
The con artists target a 1980s game show host-turned-property tycoon whose ruthlessness knows no bounds, having demolished one of Albert's favourite old haunts in Hustle - 9:00 BBC1. To pay him back, the grifters pose as international businessmen and persuade him to buy the TV studios that fired him in his showbiz heyday. But the arrival of Ash's eleven-year-old godson, himself an aspiring hustler, threatens to throw a spanner in the works. The Fast Show's Mark Williams guest stars.

It's the final part of BBC4's How the Brits Rocked America: Go Westat 9:00. The popularity of British acts in 1980s America, explaining why The Sex Pistols' 1978 US tour ended in disaster - but paved the way for others, including The Clash, Squeeze, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Cure, and particularly The Police, who went on to become one of the biggest bands in the world. The programme also explores how the launch of MTV provided a platform for the likes of Duran Duran, Culture Club, Adam & The Ants and A Flock of Seagulls to score major transatlantic hits, and charts how British and American acts found new inspiration in each others work, before explaining why the US charts went on to be dominated by homegrown artists and genres. Featuring contributions by John Lydon and Robert Smith. And, sadly, odious loathsome up-his-own-arsehole would-be world saviour Sting. Thank God The U2 Group are Irish so Mr Bonio won't be joining him otherwise nobody else would get a word in edgeways.

Wild About Pandas - 9:00 BBC2 - Documentary exploring the lives of pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang, and the preparations made for their transfer to Edinburgh Zoo in December 2011. Vet Simon Girling travels to China to find out how the pair fare in their homeland, while keeper Alison Maclean heads to the Wolong reserve to investigate efforts to introduce more of the species into the wild. David Tennant narrates. I know he's got a young family to support and all that but, is that all David Tennant does there days, voice-overs on wildlife shows? Didn't he used to be, you know, an actor?
And so to the news: Desert Island Discs is celebrating its seventieth anniversary with forty four different versions of the radio programme across the BBC's entire UK network. Sir David Attenborough appears on BBC Radio 4's version for a fourth time - a record he shares with Arthur Askey. The special editions will feature the public's favourite tunes and memories. Over the seventy years the great and the good have imagined life on a secluded island; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has been the most popular musical choice. 'Je Ne Regrette Rien' by Edith Piaf has been the most frequently chosen non-classical tune which guests said they would have on the island with them. Amongst the two thousand eight hundred and eighty one luxuries chosen to be taken on the island are one hundred and eighty three pianos, five trombones, the Albert Memorial and a cheeseburger machine. At midday on Sunday all forty local radio stations and Radio Scotland, Radio nan Gaidheal, Radio Wales, Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle will simultaneously broadcast their own Your Desert Island Discs featuring listeners' stories. They will include Chris Seery, who first heard 'Alive' by Pearl Jam when he worked in the US and played it while training for the New York Marathon. The song has since taken on a whole new meaning for the married father-of-two from the Suffolk countryside. In 2010 he was diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer and despite operations, many cycles of chemotherapy and an initially positive outlook for recovery he is terminally ill at forty six. 'This time the words have great meaning as I am determined to do everything to beat the odds and stay alive for the sake of my boys and the joy of being alive,' he said.
First broadcast on 29 January 1942, the programme was conceived and presented by playwright and novelist Roy Plomley, who each week asked a guest to choose eight songs, a book and luxury item for their imaginary stay on the island. The 'castaways' are then invited to discuss their lives and reasons for their choices. Kirsty Young, who has been presenting the programme since 2006, told the Radio Times she has 'probably the best job in the world' and would like to be doing it 'until I'm eighty five.' She said of her castaways: 'Although the premise is phoney - sitting in a studio talking to each other - I don't think I'm deluding myself when I say you can establish connections. I'm constantly surprised, and delighted, by their frankness and honesty.'

The actor Colin Tarrant, best known for his role as Inspector Andrew Monroe in ITV's police drama The Bill, has died aged fifty nine, his family has confirmed. No details of the circumstances of his death have been released, but a family statement said he died suddenly at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on Thursday. Tarrant, who lived in Bristol, had been in a number of shows since leaving the series which was cancelled in 2010. The Bill, set in the fictional London area of Sun Hill, ran for twenty six years. Tarrant's family said: 'Colin was best known as Inspector Andrew Monroe in the television series The Bill, a part he played very happily for many years. Since leaving the series he has triumphed on stage as Brian Clough in The Spirit Of The Man and had recently played John in the enormously successful stage production of Calendar Girls, and to which he would have returned this autumn.' Paying tribute, West End theatre producer David Pugh added: 'Colin was a lovely man, he loved the theatre, his politics and his family, our hearts must go out to his son Juma, his partner Sabrina and their baby son Louis.'

Former Leeds United and Stoke City footballer Chris Kamara has turned out for a struggling Welsh side after they were mocked on Sky Sports. Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling ribbed Welshpool Town when they lost to local rivals Waterloo Rovers 10-1. But manager David Jones e-mailed the show explaining how the club nearly folded, and Sky made amends by arranging for Kamara to play for them. Sadly, he did not have much of an impact as Welshpool lost 6-1 in their latest match. The channel's cameras filmed the game against Rhayader, which kicked off at two o'clock. About five hundred fans turned up to see the ex-pro in action, ten times the attendance the club has been attracting of late. The temporary new signing played a full ninety minutes in midfield for the Spar Mid-Wales League outfit. Kamara announced his comeback on Twitter before the match, saying: 'After seventeen years retirement I am back, move over Scholes and Henry.' He said that he was playing for Welshpool Town, adding '[I] must be mad.' Welshpool manager Jones said: 'Chris played really well. He's still very fit.' Town were 2-0 down at half-time, but scored just after the break to put themselves back in the game. 'He gave us a team talk before the game and at half-time and he was talking to the lads throughout the match,' added Jones. 'We got back into it early in the second half, but Rhayader ran away with it in the end. Chris said he enjoyed it, but there are no plans for him to play again for us.' The popular Kamara, fifty four, who played in defence and midfield during a twenty-year playing career, made his league debut in 1975 for Portsmouth. He went on to play for Swindon Town, Brentford, Stoke City, Leeds United, Luton Town, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Bradford City. He became a pitch-side reporter for Sky Sports following his retirement from the game in 1995 and a brief period in management. He has since become well-known for his catchphrase 'Unbelievable, Jeff', his excitable match reports and his presentation skills on Goals on Sunday. Known as The Lilywhites, Welshpool are languishing near the foot of table, with eight points from twenty one games. Two years ago they were in the Welsh Premier League and in 2007 just missed out on qualification for the UEFA Cup. But since then the club, which was founded one hundred and thirty three years ago and is one of Wales' oldest, has fallen on hard times, and had no players or a manager in August. The Boxing Day hammering by Waterloo Rovers was the lowest point of the season so far. It was picked up by Stelling as the result came through. He quipped that Welshpool had met their Waterloo. Unfortunately, the crushing defeat was followed by a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Llansanffraid Village on New Year's Eve, which Stelling then also mentioned on the show. Sky Sports contacted Jones and said it was sending a camera to one of the club's matches and a former football star would play for them. Kamara had to sign for Welshpool until the end of the season, and because his last club was in England he needed international clearance from the Football Association of Wales to play. Reports that the Welsh FA's reaction to Kammy playing for Welshpool was 'unbelievable' cannot, at this time, be confirmed or denied.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. This one's for Chris Kamara.

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