Saturday, February 18, 2012

Someone Left The Cake Out In The Rain

Any suggestion that a MasterChef contestant was allowed 'several attempts' to cook a soufflé after it was shown deflated and then perfectly risen is 'completely untrue', the BBC has said. On the episode shown on 1 February, contestant Tom Rennolds was filmed presenting a rather fallen looking soufflé to judges John Torode and Greg Wallace. Wallace was then shown tucking into a risen soufflé, declaring it 'lovely.' The BBC said the soufflé in question 'naturally deflated' by judging time but producers had cut back to a shot taken 'as it was plated up.' The corporation's statement added: 'We always shoot the soufflés as soon as time is called and cooking is finished. Then filming of the judging continues, by which time soufflés have naturally deflated. This doesn't affect the tasting or judging at all as the soufflé taste remains the same and, of course, the judges have seen how it looks when first plated up.' At the start of the sequence, Rennolds, a twenty six-year-old plasterer from Silsden in West Yorkshire, was shown placing his chilli and pineapple soufflé in front of the judges. There then followed close-up shots of the risen soufflé, before a spoon was shown being placed into the pudding. In the next shot, Wallace was shown taking a spoonful of the deflated dessert, before further shots of the unspoiled pudding were shown. 'That's lovely - dainty, elegant, beautiful,' Wallace said. 'Absolutely stunning - as light as a feather,' Wallace's critique continued. 'Sunshine sweet of pineapple and a little bit of chilli heat prickling your tongue.' The BBC said contestants were allowed to make more than one soufflé. However: 'As time is called at the end of cooking they must put only one up to be filmed, tasted and judged,' the statement added. 'We always cut back to the shot of the food as it was when first plated up as a reminder of how the dish looked before the tasting.' Tom remains a contender in this year's MasterChef, which will conclude next month. Over the past couple of week's he's been at the centre of a couple of other - wholly manufactured - controversial moments amongst fans on the show. In one episode he - accidentally, he claimed - threw Shelina's truffle into the bin when she left it on his board. In the next show, when someone turned down the oven as Aki was baking her brownie, with highly amusing consequences, Shelina pointedly asked Tom if he'd 'sabotaged' it? 'I've been at it all week,' was Tom's enigmatic reply!
And, then people wonder why I enjoy this show so much!

The new series of Doctor Who will film in Spain, according to an acting agency's website. Shepperd-Fox claims that their client Rob Cavazos 'shortly flies to Spain to play Walter in the new series of Doctor Who.' Rob has chiefly worked in the theatre, but was previously involved with Channel Four's 2006 documentary Munich: Mossad's Revenge. Filming on Doctor Who's seventh series will begin on Monday, with Scottish director Saul Metzstein at the helm. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill will, as previously announced, exit the show midway through the new run although how many episodes they will appear in remains the source of much conjecture. Gillan recently claimed that her character has a 'damn good' exit, adding that she wanted to leave the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama 'on a high.' Gillan told IGN: 'I'm not allowed to say [what happens]. But I know [the episodes are] going to be damn good. I think it's the best ever. I can't say anything, but I'm dying to say something!' Gillan confirmed that she had planned her exit far in advance with showrunner Steven Moffat. 'I called Steven Moffat and then basically told him roughly when I wanted to go,' she explained. 'He told me where the story was at and where it was going and then we kind of together came up with it.' Gillan added that she wants Amy to when the character is at her prime. 'Steven comes up with endless, amazing ideas anyway, but I wanted to make sure that I went on a high,' she said. 'There's just something quite nice and appealing about that to me. I don't know, it just felt right! I like to go on instinct.' The last time. incidentally, that the series filmed in Spain was in 1984 for the Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton three-part story The Two Doctors. So, hopefully, the new episode (or episodes) will be a bit better than that.

A friends asked yer actual Keith Telly Topping on Saturday morning 'what happened in the last episode of Hustle?' 'They all got machine-gunned to death,' he replied. Well, sort of! In one of the best-kept secrets of the TV year so far, the final episode of Hustle included the returns of not just one former cast member, Jaime Murray, but also another, Mark Warren, to tie up the popular con-team drama after eight very entertaining years.
Mickey Bricks has found the team a high-rolling mark who could earn them their biggest jackpot ever - nasty Bahrain businessman Madani Wasem. Having just inherited over eight hundred and fifty million smackers from his father, Wasem is now on a mission to prove his prowess on the stock markets. However, this mark has a dark side. Wasem's desire is to take control of his father's business, but with the key shareholders siding against him, he's taken to using murder and intimidation to make his point. This includes the employment of an enforcer, an unseen hitman brought in to dispose of anyone who gets in Wasem's way. As the team research Wasem's dealings it's clear that he's the kind of mark they usually avoid like the plague, but Mickey has his own reasons for taking the risk. As he reveals to Albert, he's tired of grifting, and this time a short rest overseas won't cover it; it seems as if Mickey's ready for retirement. This comes as a blow to the others but the prospect of a ten million pound jackpot is too good to turn down. The con is set - Mickey tries to hook Wasem by posing as a well-respected stockbroker who's recently been on a winning streak. Stage two is to snare the mark with the promise of guaranteed profits if he invests big, and Mickey's plan is to make Wasem believed they have hacked into the London Stock Exchange to be able to intercept prices a fraction of a second before the rest of the world sees them. But there are more surprises to come and shocked faces aplenty when Wasem's new broker turns out to be none other than Mickey, Albert and Ash's old partner Stacie Monroe. Retirement and the biggest jackpot of their lives are just one deal away but success hangs on a knife-edge - will it be a spectacular victory or a bloody end for our team of artful grifters? As ever, not everything is as it seems. Which, after you've watched the pre-title sequence, you might consider to be a jolly good thing. Not sure about the narrative to camera, but, the Magnificent Seven un-joke was beautifully played. And the final shot of the characters driving off into the distance in a really nice big flashy motor having achieved their big pay day is as good an image to remember the show by as any.
Rather like an American network show transplanted to London, Hustle was always a bit flash, a dash spangly, a shade ridiculous. But, mercifully, it never took itself too series and, therein, lay its greatness. It was, and remained to the end, great fun an often overlooked commodity in the world of TV drama. This blogger is, genuinely, sorry to see it go.

The final Hustle episode, incidentally, was watched by an overnight audience of 5.3m, beating ITV's Law & Order: UK by a million viewers. The two series had been roughly neck-and-neck over the previous three or four weeks in terms of overnights. (Hustle, traditionally, timeshifts a bit better than L&O:UK.) Hustle finishes with a final overnight series average of 4.82 million, which is down 0.83 million on 2011 suggesting that, perhaps, the decision to end it now whilst the majority of its audience is still in tact might've been a good one. Law & Order: UK finishes with a final overnight series average of 4.63 million, which is up 0.28 million on the fifth series in 2011, and up 0.36 million on 2011 overall (series four was also broadcast last year).

So, just when you think Channel Five can't, possibly, get anymore crass and insensitive than the broadcaster of Celebrity Big Brother already is, dear blog reader, here's a little classic illustrative example of why you're wrong. Firstly, they've commissioned a fast-turnaround documentary on the death of Whitney Houston, Whitney's Addictions: Dead of a Diva before the poor lass has even been buried. That, in an of itself, is probably bad enough. But, secondly, they managed to immediately follow a trailer for said exercise in tastelessness with a highly unfortunate opening line to one of their short ' sponsors Channel Five drama' tags. 'She looks better in a body bag.' One images that someone is clearing out their desk in Channel Five HQ over that this morning.

As Upstairs Downstairs returns for a second season in its revived form on BBC1 Sunday night, this story of class division finds itself caught up in two demographic stand-offs of its own. The first mission is to regain some of the ratings ground claimed by ITV's Downton Abbey, a similar sirs-and-serfs drama which, ironically, began as a latter-day Upstairs, Downstairs but has now overtaken it in terms of popularity. But Sir Hallam and Lady Agnes Holland of Eaton Square have also become involved in a more unexpected tussle with Ken and Deirdre Barlow of Weatherfield. Every week, the controllers of Britain's two main TV networks privately exchange their planned schedules for a fortnight ahead. This system was developed because of newspaper rows over popular shows competing in the same timeslot, especially the finals of talent shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor. So now – before the schedules go out to the press on Wednesdays – there is an agreed twenty four-hour-period in which networks can make changes either to programmes or the times at which they begin and end: the so-called 'junctions.' During the summits covering this Sunday, 19 February, the BBC1 controller, Danny Cohen, noticed that his ITV counterpart, Peter Fincham, had inserted at 8pm one of the end-of-week Coronation Street specials that sometimes run in addition to its weekly three episodes. Cohen is understandably protective of his winter hit Call the Midwife, which has been attracting audiences of more than ten million viewers at 8pm on Sunday. 'I didn't want to go to head-to-head with Corrie,' Cohen admits. 'So I moved Call the Midwife.' As a result, the season finale of the national neo-natal sensation, in which Miranda Hart's character, Chummy, is undermined by her mother, will run for an hour from 8.30pm, shunting the opening episode of Upstairs Downstairs to 9.30pm, where it now clashes with ITV's Twatting About on Ice and a high-profile US buy-in on Channel Four: Homeland, a Golden Globe-winning series with Claire Danes as a CIA agent investigating rumours that Damian Lewis, playing a US marine released from captivity in Afghanistan, may have been 'turned' as is an al-Qaeda agent. 'I was really interested to see Channel Four putting Homeland in such a competitive slot,' Cohen told the Gruniad. And this collision of hits underlines the extent to which Sunday night is the key battleground in television at the moment – being the evening, as a residue of Christian conditioning and traditional licensing and entertainment laws, when people are most likely to stay in and watch telly. 'There's a definite, embedded expectation from the audience that they should get something special on that night – before work and school on Monday,' says Cohen. Before Call The Midwife, the BBC had another massive Sunday drama hit on their hands as Sherlock gripped audiences, again, in the ten million range - so rare in these days of multi-channel television. Even smaller channels tend to have their smashes on that night: BBC2's biggest show, Top Gear, one of Sky1's most high-profile US network imports, Hawaii Five-0. 'It's the biggest night of the week,' agrees George Dixon, controller of channel management for Channel Four and a former head of scheduling at the BBC. 'There are thirty million viewers available, which is more than on any other night of the week.' Does it intrigue him that the controller of BBC1 is 'interested' by his decision to put Homeland at 9.30pm on Sundays? 'I don't know quite how to take that,' Dixon laughs. 'It's a very big show for us and we wanted to give it a good slot. But we also – as we often do – want to put on an alternative to what's elsewhere.' A twisty thriller with a powerfully contemporary feel, reflecting the mood of an America withdrawing from overseas wars but still feeling threatened, Homeland is certainly an alternative and – for viewers agnostic about period drama – perhaps a welcome one. On BBC1, the final timeslots of the weekend have become associated with historical drama. Call the Midwife (1950s) and Upstairs Downstairs (late 1930s) – both by the screenwriter Heidi Thomas – follows Birdsong (1914-18). Two popular bonnet dramas – Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford – also flourished on Sundays. So can it be argued that Sunday-night drama is almost a distinct genre of feel-good period pieces? 'I think I've probably done a bit more of it on BBC1 than was done before,' says Danny Cohen. 'And will continue to. And ITV have added to it with Downton Abbey.' Though clearly influenced by Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey has now eclipsed the prototype by most measurements. So is Upstairs Downstairs – with a series two opener set on the eve of the second world war, echoing Downton's prelude to the first world war – now returning on the back foot? 'I'm afraid you'll get the football manager answer on that,' says Cohen. 'We concentrate on what we do, not on other channels.' Unlike ITV, of course, who seem obsessed with finding some way of throttling back any hint of a BBC hit.

The Simpsons' Hank Azaria recalls his first date after his 2010 divorce from actress Helen Hunt didn't go too well. 'It was kind of a disaster,' he said. 'I was leaving a friend's house who had some construction work going on. It was dark out. I remember saying to myself, "Be careful, there are a lot of holes around here." And I fell in a hole anyway - a six-foot hole - and I actually busted a couple of ribs. I was all dirty and bloody, and I showed up at this girl's door. You'd think I would have taken the hint that God was telling me I wasn't ready to date.'

Matthew Perry has been cast in a recurring role on The Good Wife. The CBS drama series stars Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, the wife of a former state attorney (Chris Noth) who was caught in a public sex and corruption scandal. Perry will play Mike, a Chicago attorney who heads a blue ribbon panel which is investigating a suspicious police shooting, reports TV Line. The Friends actor will make his first appearance on the show on 25 March, and could see his role extended to next season. Perry previously co-created and starred in Mr Sunshine, but ABC cancelled the sitcom after one season.

BBC Worldwide has signed a deal making it the first British distributor to license content to Hulu in Japan. The agreement, which starts this week, represents the largest volume of BBC Worldwide content on any platform in Japan, with programmes from all genres including Doctor Who, [spooks], Little Britain, Walking with Dinosaurs, Top Gear and Life. The premiere of Polar Bear - Spy on the Ice and the Absolutely Fabulous twentieth anniversary specials will also be available for the first time to Japanese viewers as part of the deal. Joyce Yeung, senior Vice President for BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution in Asia welcomed the agreement, saying: 'Hulu's versatile service opens up a new audience for our catalogue.' Hulu's head of content acquisition for Japan, Kazufumi Nagasawa, added: 'The BBC is home to some of the most premium content on the planet, and we are thrilled to make these programmes available to Hulu subscribers.' Hulu Japan launched last September, the first expansion of the service outside the US. It allows consumers to watch unlimited content on multiple Internet connected devices.

Frank Skinner is undergoing therapy to cope with his phobia of water, ahead of his swim to raise money for Sport Relief next month. The comedian and chat show host told listeners to his Absolute Radio show that his therapist told him to repeatedly sing 'I think I'm going to breathe in water' to the tune of 'Jingle Bells' to help conquer his fears. I'd've suggested he go for The Who's 'Drowned', personally, but there you go. 'Apparently that helps because it makes it ridiculous,' Frank said. 'The whole idea that I might breathe in water is so ludicrous because of the tune to it, that [the fear] goes away.' I wonder if that works with my fear of axe-wielding homicidal maniacs?

World Service is throwing the doors of Bush House open to the public - revealing the inner workings of broadcasting and decision making - as it marks its eightieth birthday at the end of the month. On 29 February the daily editorial meeting will be broadcast live, as the newsroom editors meet to discuss the day's agenda and how it will be covered. A range of programmes, in more than twelve languages, will be broadcast from the open courtyard of Bush House with audience members able to watch and participate on air, online and via social media. There will also be multilingual videos of the event online. Steve Titherington, World Service commissioning editor, said: 'We are turning Bush House inside out, showing who we are and what we do and asking what the world wants next from the BBC World Service.' Flagship programmes like Newshour and World Have Your Say will consider, with audience help, the future priorities of the World Service and of international broadcasting. Peter Horrocks, director of Global News, said: 'These are historic and changing times for the World Service. We want our audiences to be at the heart of both the commemoration of the past and conversation about the future.' As well as a celebration of a long history the special day of programming is also a farewell as World Service moves out of Bush House, its home for over seventy years. The World Service will be the first occupants of the new broadcast centre at W1. Eventually all the BBC's news services will be based there, working in the same space for the first time. Following the special open day there are two further events, one for opinion formers hosted by Lord Patten, and a staff party on the evening of 2 March.

Stephen Fry has, apparently, been voted the celebrity that Disabled Persons Railcard holders would most like to travel with on a train journey.

A man has been charged after graffiti was daubed at Newcastle United's ground - you know, St James' Park - just hours after the St James' Park signs were removed. On Thursday the letters were removed following last November's announcement of the name change to whatever ridiculous bollocks nonsense the odious owner Mike Ashley has thought up this week. The words 'St James' were written in white paint on the outside wall at Barrack Road before being removed on Friday morning. Michael Atkinson, of Newbiggin Hall, was charged with criminal damage. He is due to appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court on 7 March. Atkinson told the BBC that he had intended to paint 'St James' Park' but that he was apprehended by the rozzers before he got to the apostrophe. Just in case Lynne Truss was about to appear as a character witness for the prosecution. (It would've been good if she had, actually. She could have answered the question about whether Eats Shoots and Leaves was about Michael Owen's four years of taking the piss at Gallowgate, as has been rumoured.) 'I had a few cans of lager in the house,' continued Atkinson. 'I'd had eight cans of Fosters, so at that point I decided I was going to make a stand and speak for all Newcastle fans.' The graffiti was written on one of the walls at the ground below where the original St James' Park sign had been. The vast majority of Newcastle fans - this blogger very much included - have said that they will continue to call the ground St James' Park no matter what the owner or whichever urban pimps he sells the naming rights too decide to call it. And, that this is simply one more reason to despise the odious flogger of dodgy trainers whom we now have the sorry misfortune to be owned by. A man who knows, in Joey Barton's words, 'the cost of everything and the value of nothing.' The club says the change is a temporary measure to 'showcase' the sponsorship opportunity to 'interested parties.' The club's managing director Derek Llambias has claimed that stadium rebranding could generate up to ten million smackers a year. Which it won't. And, even if it does, Alan Pardew won't get it to spend on a new player because, that's not the way the odious Ashley and his performing monkey of a chairman do things.

Evidence that missing aristocrat Lord Lucan was smuggled out of the UK to a secret life abroad has come from two new witnesses. An ex-detective said there was 'a credible sighting' of Lucan in Africa. And a woman who worked for Lucan's friend John Aspinall told the BBC that she arranged for his children to fly to Africa where the peer could view them 'from a distance.' Lucan disappeared in 1974 after the murder of his children's nanny. Sandra Rivett was found dead at Lucan's home in Belgravia the victim of a vicious attack with a bit of lead piping. The peer's blood-soaked car was later found abandoned in Newhaven, East Sussex. Lucan, born Richard John Bingham in 1934, was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999. In an interview in 2000, Aspinall said that Lucan had 'probably committed suicide' by scuttling his boat in the English Channel. Since Lucan's disappearance there have been more than seventy alleged sightings of him in countries across the world including South Africa, Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands but none of these have ever been substantiated. Aspinall's secretary, who asked not to be identified and assumed the name Jill Findlay, claimed that she was 'invited into meetings' where the missing aristocrat was discussed by her boss and Sir James Goldsmith, the multi-millionaire businessman and Tory benefactor. 'Instructions were to make arrangements for John Bingham, also known as Lord Lucan, to see his children and to do that I had to book his two eldest children on flights to Africa,' she said. 'I don't know the exact dates, it was between 1979 and 1981 and it was on two occasions I booked the flights.' She said that the children would have visited Kenya and Gabon and Lucan would have been able to see them from a distance but he would not meet or speak to them. Findlay claimed that she had 'no idea of the enormity' of the search under way for Lucan who was then the most wanted man in Britain (and, possibly, the World). She also claimed that Aspinall told her to expect him to announce Lucan's death to the press, a statement which came in 2000 and which she took as a signal that he had died in Africa. It took Findlay a further twelve years to break her silence. She said that events began to piece themselves together as she reflected on her life during a recent illness and she wanted to talk to the BBC to pass on information to whoever may find it of interest. Findlay said that her 'conscience was clear' because she had not helped Lucan escape. She said she was prepared to give Scotland Yard a statement. Aspinall died in June 2000, three years after the death of Sir James Goldsmith. Bob Polkinghorne, a former detective inspector who worked on the Lucan inquiry when it was being dealt with as a cold case during the 1980s, also said: 'The word was he was in Africa. Lady Lucan, I am quite convinced, didn't think he was dead.' Polkinghorne said that a further confirmation Lucan was alive came from 'a reliable witness' who saw one of Lucan's close acquaintances in the early 1980s as he holidayed in Africa. Polkinghorne said: 'He was surprised to see this acquaintance standing on a bridge. After two to three minutes, he was joined by another man who he is adamant was Lord Lucan.' The former detective, who now lives in Kent, said permission to pursue this lead was 'refused' by the Metropolitan Police. He said: 'I was then later told, a few days later, discontinue the inquiry. You haven't got approval to continue.' And he added: 'I think [Lucan's] gambling fraternity friends spirited him out the country.'

Alleged comedian Justin Lee Collins is to stand trial accused of harassing his girlfriend in Hertfordshire. The Friday Night Project host, thirty seven, has denied putting his ex-partner Anna Larke in 'fear of violence' between January and July last year. Collins, of Kew, appeared at St Albans Magistrates' Court where his case was committed to crown court. A plea and case management hearing is expected to take place on 26 March. Collins was granted bail on condition that he does not contact Larke or her relatives. Or make any more crap programme for Channel Five. Probably.

There has been another twist in the tale of the recruitment consultant who challenged Tim Vine over the conjunctivitis joke, which was named the best of the year. (' Hat's a sight for sore eyes'). Tommy Pye made something a fuss in the national press some weeks ago about this being 'his' joke, having tweeted it in December 2010, to his handful of online followers. He told the Sun: 'I often make up jokes and I was quite pleased with this one. I can't prove Tim Vine stole it, but I one hundred per cent came up with it ages ago.' 'It's possible for people to come up with the same joke without realising it,' Pye reluctantly admitted this week, while still complaining: 'But I put it on Twitter and I follow Tim Vine's account because I'm a fan of his humour. What's to say he never looked at my own when he got an update to show I'm following him?' But now the Chortle website has discovered that the joke was actually published in The Biggest Ever Tim Vine Joke Book in September 2010 (page six, joke twenty one if you want to look it up) – three months before My Pye posted his comment. Chortle had already cast abouts upon Pye's claims when first reporting then earlier this month: 'The chances that Vine, who has written thousands of one-liners over the years, stole a gag from a thirty one-year-old Chingford man who has just one hundred and fifty nine Twitter followers is highly unlikely. He has posted just thirteen tweets, most of which were messages to his friends.' Allegations of joke theft concerning puns usually prove unfounded, the website notes. It is normally down to coincidence since there are a limited number of variations on common phrases. Indeed, the comic Sanderson Jones included a version of the conjunctivitis gag in his Edinburgh show last year.
Rupert Murdoch has told staff at the Sun in London that he will launch the Sun on Sunday tabloid 'very soon.' That's if they haven't all been arrested for alleged wrongdoing by then, of course. The News Corporation boss offered his support to Sun journalists at News International's offices in Wapping. Ten current and former senior staff at the paper have been arrested since November in connection with alleged corrupt payments to public officials. Murdoch lifted all staff suspensions pending police inquiries, a move which the Labour MP Chris Bryant called 'cynical.' The high-profile campaigner against and victim of phone-hacking, said that the decision to lift the suspensions was hypocritical. 'It is massively premature because one would have thought the Murdoch empire would want to wait until Leveson had completed his inquiry and the police and prosecuting authorities had completed their investigations,' he said. 'News International has tirelessly campaigned for people who have been charged to be suspended from public office and yet journalists who have been charged at News International are apparently not going to be suspended.' Bryant was awarded thirty grand in damages after his phone was hacked by the now defunct, disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. Lord Justice Leveson's ongoing inquiry is examining press standards and ethics. It has been suggested that the bail conditions of the arrested Sun journalists might prevent them from returning to work, but a News International spokeswoman confirmed there were no conditions affecting the staff. Murdoch arrived on a private plane at Luton Airport from the US on Thursday evening and was taken to Wapping in a vehicle with blacked-out windows. The meeting followed anger at the way in which the News Corporation's management and standards committee - set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing - had passed on information to the police. Which, of course, it is legally obliged to do if it discovers what it believes to be illegal activity taking place. But Labour Leader Ed Milimolimandi said that it was entirely right that News International had provided evidence to the police that led to the arrests. 'Of course News International should be co-operating with the police. There is some evidence - some allegations anyway - of criminal activity,' he told BBC 5Live. In an e-mail to staff, Murdoch said: 'We will build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon. Having a winning paper is the best answer to our critics.' He said that he would stay in London for the next several weeks. Describing the recent arrests as a 'great source of pain', he warned: 'Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated.' But Murdoch praised the 'superb work' of Sun journalists and said 'the Sun is a part of me.' The company was doing everything it could to assist those who had been arrested, his e-mail said. 'News Corporation will cover their legal expenses. Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise,' it said. Someone described as an, anonymous, 'middle-ranking News International journalist' told the BBC that the mood amongst colleagues was 'chaos in a good and bad way. Mainly good actually. People really happy at fighting talk.' Last year News Corporation closed the Scum of the World over impropriety. Revelations that staff employed by the newspaper hacked the phones of public figures and the victims of crime prompted the closure of the one hundred and sixty eight-year-old rag. The National Union of Journalists has said that news organisations have a duty to protect their sources, and is considering a legal challenge to the company. General secretary Michelle Stanistreet told the BBC Murdoch could have stemmed the 'huge anger and frustration' by calling off the committee and acknowledging its action had been 'a huge mistake. It's done a huge disservice to press freedom because we have a situation now where confidential sources have been betrayed. It's been handled so badly,' she said. Media commentator Steve Hewlett told the BBC that Murdoch was facing the kind of 'ructions' in his company he had never seen before. 'What he's trying to say to the people here is "look we really are on the same side", but the fact is he is between a rock and a hard place and these are both of his and his company's own making.'

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. This is for MasterChef contestants and media oligarchs alike. Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.

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