Monday, February 27, 2012

Too Many Outlets, In And Out

Matt Smith has swiped former Doctor Who star David Tennant's crown to become the speediest Time Lord to negotiate Top Gear's famous test track in the show's Reasonably Priced Car. Albeit, in a different car, it should be noted. Still, give Matt his moment in the The Stig's spotlight. Smudger recorded a time of 1:43.7 in a Kia Cee'd (the sixth fastest time ever recorded and faster, incidentally, than yer actual Tom Cruise went round the track in the same car). This smashed predecessor Tennant's 1:48.8 set in 2007 in a Chevrolet Lacetti, and ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston's 1:52.4, recorded in an automatic Suzuki Liana in 2005. Smith also beat one-time Doctor Who companion Billie Piper, who was half a second faster than Tennant after a controversial run in which she was seen to have cut some corners. Jeremy Clarkson let her get away with it, however. Because she was wearing a see-through top. I mean ... fair enough, really. Can't argue with that logic. Matt struggled with some turns himself during his practice runs but came good to record the impressive time, keeping calm by humming 'Singin' in the Rain' as he negotiated the course. In an entertaining interview with yer man Jezza beforehand, Matt talked about a variety of subjects including his recent appearance in the film Womb and the problems of swimming naked in very cold water, his teenage football exploits with Leicester City and Nottingham Forest and a recent encounter with a young fan girl in his garden. As usual Matt came across as a witty and smart young man with a nice line in floppy haircuts.
Expect some sod in the Gruniad Morning Star to find something to whinge about in it, though. That's what they do. This morning, Smudger will be back at the day-job, filming for the new series of Doctor Who in Cardiff.

Meanwhile, for many fanboys and girls it would be the dream pairing – Doctor Who and Benedict Cumberbatch. So an Internet rumour - and it is just a rumour - that the Sherlock star is to play the Time Lord's arch enemy The Master as part of next year's Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary output will raise some goosebumps and have some people reaching for the eight per cent cocaine solution, more than likely. Apparently Doctor Who 'insiders', anonymous of course and, therefore, like as not non-existent, suggest that Benny, thirty five, is 'being lined-up' for the role and is likely to take on Matt Smith's Doctor as the show celebrates its half-century in 2013. This story has even reached the pages of the Daily Scum Express, which probably gives dead blog readers some idea of just how seriously to take it. 'It's fitting that the Doctor comes face-to-face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the fiftieth anniversary and it's felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work,' an alleged 'source' allegedly told the alleged newspaper. 'Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor.' Cumberbatch was linked with the role of the Doctor himself ahead of David Tennant's departure in 2009, during Russell Davies's tenure as showrunner, but reportedly turned it down - although that particular tabloid story subsequently seemed also to have been based on quite a sizable chunk of misinformation when Benny denied that he'd ever been offered the part. Current Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat is, of course, also the co-creator of Sherlock, so would have had plenty of time to sound Cumberbatch out for the role of The Master. Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has shown he is not averse to the idea of playing SF villains, having landed a role as the nemesis in the second instalment in JJ Abrams's Star Trek movie reboot. John Simm was the last actor to play the rogue Time Lord, at the end of Tennant's reign. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping doesn't believe that Benny will end up playing The Master but, if by some curious route, he does, then yer actual Keith Telly Topping will merely add, in somewhat self-satisfied manner, you heard it here first. Nearly two years ago, in fact. I'm just sayin' ...

Waking The Dead could return for a Christmas special, one of the show's actors has claimed. Wil Johnson told the Sun that there have been discussions about reviving the crime drama, which was cancelled after nine series in 2010. 'There is talk of doing a Christmas special,' Johnson said. 'I wouldn't be surprised if we do - there's such a demand for it. I miss being on the set because it was a quality show to work on. A great cast, great guest artists who came in and wonderful directors - that's rare.' An alleged 'source' allegedly 'warned' that it 'could be difficult' to get the cast together as some of the actors have begun work on new projects, but added: 'A Christmas special would thrill fans and could lead to another series.' Following the axe of Waking The Dead, Tara Fitzgerald appeared in spin-off The Body Farm. However, the programme was recently cancelled after one series. To be honest, it's always been yer actual Keith Telly Topping's understanding from 'sources' close to the show (ahem) that the only reason Waking the Dead was ever cancelled in the first place was that, quite simply, the BBC could no longer afford Trevor Eve's salary - a reported one million pounds per series. If some arrangement has been come to that could get around that stumbling block then there's no reason why Waking the Dead - a fantastically popular and well-made drama and a particular favourite of this blogger - shouldn't carry on even if it is in a kind of Jonathan Creek-style 'one special every couple of years' vein.

And now, a public service broadcasting announcement. With guitars. Listeners to yer actual BBC Newcastle on Monday morning would have been treated to yer actual Keith Telly Topping contributing to the fragrant and lovely Jonny Miles's Mid-Morning Show down the lines, on the subject of whether Britain has lost its collective sense of humour. To which the probable answer is, yes, but don't worry, it'll find it again.

And speaking of BBC local radio - which, as you'll know, this blog supports - the BBC will be urged to ditch controversial (and, frankly, stupid) plans to share afternoon programmes across its forty local radio stations in England and take the axe to senior management instead. Sounds like a fantastic idea. The proposals are expected to be included in a BBC-commissioned review of its local radio output by former GMG Radio chief executive John Myers, to be published on Monday. It will recommend sweeping away large parts of local radio management which could save the corporation between one and two million smackers a year, according to 'sources.' The report will oppose controversial cost-saving plans to share afternoon output across neighbouring stations. This content-sharing plan was part of fifteen million knicker of cuts proposed to local radio as part of BBC director general Mark Thompson's Delivering Quality First initiative to save seven hundred million quid a year. The local radio proposals were - by far - the most contentious of Thompson's various proposals and BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has since indicated that some of the cuts will be reversed. Myers, who is now the chief executive of the Radio Academy, previously carried out a review of BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 in which he also suggested a streamlining of senior management. The cuts to BBC local radio outlined in DQF would have led to the loss of two hundred and eighty jobs. The BBC cuts plan, unveiled in the autumn, led to criticism from within the corporation that local stations were suffering unfairly compared to Radio 4 and the BBC's other national networks. MPs also weighed into the debate, saying the cuts would deal a crippling blow to the corporation's local radio output and were 'a travesty' for listeners. It remains to be seen to what extent the BBC will row back on the initial proposals and how many jobs will ultimately be affected. BBC local radio in England had an average weekly reach of 7.29 million listeners in the final three months of 2011. Its audience was up on the 7.25 million people who listened in the previous quarter according to recently released RAJAR figures. Myers was commissioned to review BBC local radio in November last year, with a brief to show how stations could maximise productivity and deliver efficiency savings. A BBC spokesman said: 'We cannot comment on the contents of the report ahead of its publication.'

Overnight ratings now, and Pointless Celebrities made a winning start to Saturday nights, initial data suggests. The BBC1 teatime quiz show - which included a rather amusing appearance by MasterChef: The Professionals pair scowling Monica Galetti and Michel Roux Jnr - was watched by 4.68m at 6.15pm, overpowering All Star Family Fortunes which had an audience of 4.05m for ITV. One wonders if Vernon Kay will be on Twitter this morning bigging up that particular result. Probably not. You've Been Framed climbed to 4.37m at 7.05pm, then Harry Hill's TV Burp was watched by 4.62m from 7.35pm (with a further one hundred and forty thousand punters on ITV+1). But neither was able to make much ground on Let's Dance for Sport Relief, which continued with 5.56m for BBC1. No-one knows why. The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins (5.22m) and Casualty (5.12m) followed with solid ratings for the Beeb. Risible, odious Take Me Out was watched by 4.99m crushed victims of society from 8pm. Then 2.91m watched The Jonathan Ross Show with guests Amir Khan, Sean Bean and JLS. Drama imports helped Channel Five to a good night, with moderately impressive ratings from NCIS (1.53m), CSI (1.29m) and CSI: NY (1.6m). Meanwhile, BBC2's The Story of Light Entertainment started with 1.64m at 7.20pm, then 1.43m tuned in for The Story of Musicals. Overall, BBC1 contemptuously brushed aside ITV's efforts in primetime with 23.4 per cent against 17.1 per cent audience share. All day shares (including HD figures but exclusive of ITV's +1 catch-up service) saw BBC1 have 25.9 per cent of the audience with ITV managing a meagre 11.3 per cent.

On Sunday, the Carling Cup Final had an average audience of 5.87m for BBC1. The audience peaked with over ten million punters during the penalty shoot-out which saw Liverpool - somewhat luckily - beat Cardiff City to take the trophy. All subsequent programmes on BBC1 ran late because of this. Countryfile picked up 6.4m, Antiques Roadshow 6.36m and Upstairs Downstairs 5.83m, down seven hundred thousand on the previous week's season opener and, frankly, a big disappointment given the amount of publicity the Beeb have given it. On ITV Twatting About On Ice more-or-less maintained its audience from last week with 7.34m although, with Call The Midwife having now ended, the risible ice dance malarkey suddenly finds itself the highest rated show of the day. It's still more than two million punters down on last year's figures, however and the knives are still out for The Curiously Orange Christine Bleakley, it would seem. Later, the Twatting About On Ice results show pulled in 5.75m against Upstairs Downstairs. In-between, Wild At Heart's audience of 6.21m was, again, hugely down on the equivalent figures from last year. Top Gear pulled in 5.12m (seven hundred thousand of those on BBC HD). The big winner of the night, actually, was Channel Four's US import Homeland which built on its impressive audience of the first episode and added an extra two hundred thousand viewers to break the two million barrier (2.05m). And, if you're not watching it, take it from this blogger, you should be! On Sky Sports 1, the North London derby in which The Arse gave Happy (and, not at all corrupt, no siree, Bob) Harry's Stottingtot Hotshots a damned good stuffing was watched by 1.57m.

And, here's the consolidated, final ratings figures for the Top Thirty shows week ending Sunday 19 February:-
1 Call The Midwife - BBC1 Sun - 11.41m
2 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 10.89m
3 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 9.53m
4 Emmerdale - ITV Mon - 8.13m*
5 Upstairs Downstairs - BBC1 Sun - 7.87m
6 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 7.01m
7 Let's Dance For Comic Relief - BBC1 Sat - 6.84m
8 Hustle - BBC1 Fri - 6.80m
9 Twatting About On Ice - ITV Sun - 6.76m*
10 Whitechapel - ITV Mon - 6.74m
11 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 6.35m
12 The Diamond Queen - BBC1 Mon - 6.29m
13 Wild At Heart - ITV Sun - 6.13m*
14 Big Fat Gypsy Weddings - C4 Tues - 6.03m
15 Countryfile - BBC1 Sat - 5.79m
16 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Mon - 5.40m
17 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 5.37m
18 UEFA Champions League Live - ITV Wed - 5.36m
19 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - BBC1 Sat - 5.34m
20= Top Gear - BBC2/BBC HD Sun - 5.29m
20= The ONE Show - BBC1 Mon - 5.29m
22 Prisoners' Wives - BBC1 Tues - 5.18m
23 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Mon - 5.10m
24 MasterChef - BBC1 Wed - 5.09m
25 Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods - BBC1 Wed - 5.00m
26 Risible Odious Take Me Out- ITV Sat - 4.92m*
27 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 4.87m
28 Law & Order: UK - ITV Fri - 4.72m
29 Inside Men - BBC1 Thurs - 4.45m
30 Rip Off Britain - BBC1 Wed - 4.43m
Those programmes with an asterisk do not include HD figures. Call The Midwife's audience, incidentally, is the highest for a non-soap drama on BBC1 since the Christmas 2010 episode of Doctor Who (12.11m).

Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville has denied rumours that a film adaptation of the popular costume drama is being planned. The actor, who plays Earl Robert Crawley in the ITV drama, said that fans had jumped to the wrong conclusion after creator Lord Snooty Julian Fellowes spoke to Hollywood producers at last month's Golden Globes. 'Everyone thinks we're making a film because our writer spoke to some producers at the Golden Globes,' he told the Daily Lies. 'But that is what happens at film awards - it doesn't mean we're doing a film.' He added: 'I understand why people think we should though - the cast is incredible.' Downton Abbey won Best Miniseries or Television Film at the Globes, while Bonneville himself was nominated for Best Performance in a Miniseries or Television Film. It was announced this weekend that Downton Abbey will compete for the Outstanding Drama Series award at this year's Emmys, having picked up the Outstanding Miniseries prize at the 2011 ceremony.

There was an unexpected treat for Sky's head of drama, Anne Mensah, who encountered a beach full of penguins on a trip to Cape Town to visit the filming of her dramas, Mad Dogs and Strike Back reported the Gruniad Morning Star. 'They are mostly having sex,' Mensah told the Royal Television Society's Television magazine. 'Who knew that penguins sound like donkeys when they make love? I try not to let it ruin my memories of Happy Feet.'
Expect more tie-ups between Channel Five and the rest of Richard Desmond's media empire despite the not entirely memorable experience that was its crass teatime showbiz fiasco, OK! TV. C5's director of programmes, Jeff Ford, said that he was looking for more 'synergies' with the Daily Scum Express and the Daily Lies at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch last week. He'll have plenty of opportunity to discuss them with Desmond. 'I have probably two or three meetings with him a week and those last hours,' Ford told the Gruniad.

The clear out at the soon-to-be-sold BBC Television Centre has begun. A workshop will be held this week for news staff moving to the refurbished Broadcasting House. According to an e-mail from a BBC 'change co-ordinator' (now, there's a candidate for DQF if ever there was one) the workshop will explain 'what people can do with their notebooks and documents ahead of the move to W1.' The piles of paper collected over the years, some of which are still useful, have to be sorted through as there is little room at BH to store material. Staff have been told that anything left will be put in a skip. The e-mail adds: 'It should be particularly useful for correspondents and producers who have umpteen books going back years and are worried about where they can be stored.' One has serious worries about the poor person who has to tell Broadcasting House sceptic Jeremy Paxman about all this. I suppose his mate Dizzee Rascal could keep him in line. Innit?

James Martin ended up red-faced after accidentally using a really funny euphemism on Saturday Kitchen Live at the weekend. After a short segment from chef Rick Stein cooking some pork chops, Martin attempted to say 'delicious dish', but uttered said 'delicious dick' instead. Martin was clearly embarrassed by the mistake and apologised repeatedly for the error. Bank Job host George Lamb, who was a guest in the studio, put his head in his hands to cover up his laughter at the blunder.
Charlotte Church and her parents have agreed damages and costs of six hundred grand with the publishers of the defunct, disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. The High Court has heard how Church's phone was hacked when she was a teenager. News Group Newspapers agreed to pay out the money to the singer and her family. Church was in court to hear a statement resolving her claim that thirty three articles in the paper had been due to her family's voicemails being hacked. The tabloid paper's journalists hacked Church's phone when she was sixteen years old. They also placed her under surveillance and gained access to her medical records. Church's mother, Maria, agreed to talk to the paper's journalists about how she had self-harmed and attempted suicide after reporters gained information from hacked voicemails about her problems. The twenty six-year-old singer had discussed her family's hacking experiences at the ongoing Leveson inquiry into the media.

The launch of the Sun on Sunday has sparked a battle for the weekend newspaper market that will see more than ten million wonga in extra advertising money spent in the coming weeks, benefiting hard-pressed media companies and in particular ITV. The UK's biggest advertiser-funded broadcaster will take the lion's share of the new advertising money flooding the market as News International and rival Sunday tabloid publishers seek to promote their titles. This extra money could help ITV avoid what had been forecast to be a decline in advertising revenue for the first three months of 2012. TV advertising revenue for flagship channel ITV had been estimated by analysts to be down between three per cent and five per cent year-on-year in the first quarter. It is thought that ITV is actually in slightly better shape than this and there is the potential if the Sunday newspaper marketing battle continues for the next month for the broadcaster's first quarter to be flat, or even slightly up, in TV advertising revenue year-on-year. Rupert Murdoch has backed the launch of the Sunday edition of the Sun with a multi-million-pound advertising campaign. Media industry sources understand that Murdoch's News International will commit between three and seven million smackers to advertising the new Sunday paper in its launch phase to the end of March, depending on initial sales and how much rival publishers commit to marketing their titles. News International is also believed to be committing significant marketing resources to the launch to make a statement about the company's commitment to the new Sunday title. Media industry sources estimate that the rival newspaper groups – Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell, which publishes the Daily Lies Sunday, Sunday Mirra and People owner Trinity Mirra and Scum Mail on Sunday owner Daily Scum Mail and General Trust – could look to spend an extra one and a half to two million knicker each up to the end of March. These estimates are also fluid as the newspaper groups will adjust their marketing strategies depending upon the success, and support, behind the Sun on Sunday. 'There is plenty of spending going on this week, but in a way rivals have to let NI have its day, the economics don't work if you go toe to toe and match them at such short notice on week one,' one anonymous media industry 'source' allegedly said. 'The battle won't be won or lost in week one, it is about the long game. If you include the hit the titles are taking from their own price cuts, which could be considered marketing or promotional spend, the cost is going to be absolutely huge.'

Meanwhile, just hours after Rupert Murdoch's defiant gamble of launching a Sunday edition of the Sun, the head of the police investigations into illegal behaviour by journalists spelled out startling details of what she called a 'culture of illegal payments' at the title. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told the Leveson inquiry that one public official received more than eighty thousand smackers in total from the paper, currently edited by Dominic Mohan. Regular 'retainers' were apparently paid to police officers and others, with one Sun journalist drawing more than one hundred and fifty grand over the years to 'pay off' his alleged sources. 'The cases we are investigating are not ones involving the odd drink, or meal, to police officers or other public officials,' she said. 'Instead, these are cases in which arrests have been made involving the delivery of regular, frequent and sometimes significant sums of money to small numbers of public officials by journalists. A network of corrupted officials' was providing the Sun with stories that were mostly 'salacious gossip,' she said. 'There appears to have been a culture at the Sun of illegal payments, and systems have been created to facilitate such payments whilst hiding the identity of the officials receiving the money.' Akers' reference to the 'systematic' nature of alleged corruption, and its endorsement by senior executives, will be a clear signal to the US department of justice that her allegations, if proved, fall squarely within the ambit of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Rupert Murdoch's US parent company, News Corporation, could face fines of hundreds of millions of dollars unless it can show it has 'co-operated vigorously' with the authorities in rooting out malpractice. Akers insisted in her testimony that, although she was dependent on News Corporation's management and standards committee to turn over incriminating e-mails, she was confident the co-operation was working well and the MSC was independent of News International. She said that the investigation into bribery, Operation Elveden, was following Crown Prosecution Service advice to focus on cash payments and not on 'more general hospitality, such as meals or drinks.' These were specifically excluded from Elveden's terms of reference. Her testimony contradicts claims by some Sun staff, ten of whom have been arrested over corruption allegations, that they are being 'persecuted' merely for buying lunch for contacts. After the arrests Mohan published a lengthy anti-police column in the Sun. Written by Murdoch veteran Trevor Kavanagh, it complained of a 'Soviet-style witch-hunt', and claimed vital press freedoms were under threat by the police raids. Others claimed the MSC was 'endangering the sanctity of journalists' sources' by turning over information to the police. Akers told the inquiry that the MSC was handling police requests for information 'in a manner that seeks to protect legitimate journalist sources at all times. Our aim is to uncover criminality. It is not to uncover legitimate sources.' The MSC was redacting information about sources before handing it over unless there was an 'evidential base' to justify attempts to identify the public official concerned. She said one police officer from the specialist operations division had been identified 'who was seeking payments' from journalists with the Scum of the World. He had been arrested last December. But the investigation of two Scum of the World journalists suspected of bribery had, so far, failed to identify any police they may have paid. Akers said that the move to investigate the Sun as well as the Scum of the World was the MSC's idea. 'This review had not been requested by the [Metropolitan police].' Far from wanting to put the Sun out of business, she said, police had agreed to carry out arrests on a Saturday, when no daily journalists were working. The e-mails turned over by the MSC had led to the arrest so far of ten Sun journalists, two police officers, a member of the Ministry of Defence, an army officer and the relative of a public official 'acting as a conduit to hide a cheque payment.' Akers said that the sixty one-strong Elveden investigation was 'still at a relatively early stage' in trying to identify the recipients of illicit cash: 'The e-mails indicate that payments to "sources" were openly referred to within the Sun. There is a recognition by the journalists that this behaviour is illegal, reference being made to staff "risking losing their pension or job", to the need for "care" and to the need for "cash payments." There is also an indication of "tradecraft". Hiding cash payments to "sources" by making them to a friend or relative of the source.' She said that the evidence suggested such payments were authorised by senior staff at the Sun. Opening Monday's hearing, Lord Justice Leveson earlier paid tribute to reporter Marie Colvin, who died in shelling in the Syrian city of Homs on 22 February. Lord Justice Leveson said Colvin's death had underlined 'the need to preserve free speech and free press. I have repeatedly emphasised the vital role that responsible journalism plays in our society and I have recognised that the overwhelming majority of journalists work to high standards day after day,' he said. 'In that regard it is particularly appropriate to say that there is no better example of the very best in journalism than that provided by Marie Colvin, whose determination to illuminate events in the most dangerous corners of the world, whose life, body of work and the ultimate sacrifice that she made in doing so, all serve to underline the need to preserve and protect free speech and a free press. To say that she was a fine reporter does not do justice to the tribute that she is owed and which I am very pleased to acknowledge.' Lord Justice Leveson said that he 'recognised' that some of the evidence he had heard had prompted disquiet as it was not seen as 'representative of the way the industry as a whole operates.' Odious, brown-tongued Murdoch-lackey, the Education Secretary Michael Gove last week said the Leveson Inquiry had led to 'a chilling atmosphere' which threatened press freedom in the UK. You want to budge up a big from your position hogging the room at Uncle Rupert's arse there, Michael. There's not enough space for anybody else to get their faces in for a damn good lick. Lord Justice Leveson said he was happy 'yet again to reassert my commitment to a free press and freedom of expression.' But, he said they were rights that did not 'exist in a vacuum' and 'where different aspects of the public interest are in opposition, a balance must be found.' Counsel to the inquiry Robert Jay QC delivered an opening statement to the inquiry. He told the hearing that relations between News International and the Metropolitan Police were at best 'inappropriately close.' The nature of their relationship, he said, might explain why police did not properly investigate phone hacking in 2006, or later in 2009 and 2010. Jay read to the inquiry evidence that Scotland Yard had told then Sun editor, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks in 2006 that it was 'not extending' its inquiry to include Scum of the World staff other than royal reporter Clive Goodman who'd been caught red-handed at it. Goodman was jailed in 2007 alongside the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire for illegally accessing royal aides' voicemails. Tom Crone, the Scum of the World's head of legal summarised Scotland Yard's briefing in an e-mail headed 'strictly private and confidential' to then-Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson on 15 September 2006. 'Here is what Rebekah told me about info relayed to her by the cops,' he said. Nice to see that even when they're e-mailing each other, News International executives use Sun-speak and never use a two syllable word (police) where a one syllable word (cops) will do instead. 'They suggested that they were not widening the case to include other News of the World people, but would do so if they got direct evidence, say News of the World journos directly accessing the voicemails (this is what did for Clive).' Neil Garnham QC, representing the Metropolitan Police Service, later told the inquiry that the decision not to put more resources into the original phone-hacking investigation had been reasonable 'because as serious as the interception of telephone calls is, it is not a matter of life and liberty. The judgement that had to be made here was perfectly obvious; it was only five months before the phone-hacking investigation began that London had been the subject of the terror attacks of 7/7,' he said. Lord Justice Leveson described evidence retrieved from Mulcaire as an 'Aladdin's cave of information. I would like to understand why it is that the police - with all their resource problems in relation to terrorism - why the police shouldn't have gone to News International and said: "This is what has been going on. It's at this level. What's been happening, what are you going to do about it, how are you going to make sure it doesn't happen any more?"' Yes, indeed. A lot of people would like to know that your judgeship. And remarkably few people seem to have any answers for those very questions. Garnham responded: 'What was not known about Mulcaire names was the nature of interest he had in them. We know much more now.' The Leveson Inquiry has two parts, the first of which is examining relations between the press, politicians and police, and the conduct of each. It will consider the extent to which the current regulatory regime has failed, and whether there has been a failure to act upon any previous warnings about media misconduct. The second part will look at the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other media organisations. It will also examine the way in which any relevant police force investigated allegations relating to News International, and whether the police received corrupt payments or were otherwise complicit in misconduct.

Number six in an ongoing series, The Silliest Names In Television. The legend that is Laura Kuenssberg.

The Sex Pistols have signed a record deal with Universal, it has been announced. An 'expanded and repackaged edition' of the band's groundbreaking debut Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols will be released later this year. Universal said the release will tie in with the record's thirty fifth anniversary. 'To be given the opportunity to re-evaluate the Sex Pistols catalogue is every music lover's dream,' said Universal's Karen Simmonds. 'We're looking forward to working with the band and celebrating their impact on worldwide culture.' The band, best known for hits such as 'Anarchy In The UK', 'God Save The Queen', 'Pretty Vacant' and 'Holiday's in the Sun', formed in 1975. Fronted by Johnny Rotten, the group forged a reputation that encouraged fans to rise and rebel against the establishment. Well, at least, that's the pipe-and-slippers 2012 version of what The Pistols were all about. The 1976-77 version was closer to ... what can you say, sheer total bloody chaos, basically. In 1976 they signed a contract with record label EMI, but the deal became short lived after the group caused controversy during an appearance on Thames Television's Today programme. The live interview was littered with expletives and led to a furore for days afterwards in the national newspapers. Further negative publicity led to EMI, which has since been bought by Universal and Sony, releasing the band from their contract. And, the irony of the lyrics to 'EMI' will, I trust, be lost on exactly no one. 'And you thought that we were all faking/When we were only money-making.' Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Which brings us to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Yeah, it had to be, really, didn't it?

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