Saturday, February 04, 2012

Week Seven: Snowblind

Lara Pulver has admitted that she is eager to work with Steven Moffat again. And who, in all honesty, can blame her? He is, after all, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He). The Sherlock star told Assignment X that she would be happy to work with the writer again on Doctor Who. 'We haven't spoken about Doctor Who at all,' she said. 'I think they are very separate entities for Steven, and I think he puts on very different hats.' Which, if true, probably wants to be something that sue has a word with him about before he leaves the house each morning. You know 'Steven, not the different hat thing again.' That kind of thing. However, Pulver added: 'I love working with him, and if we found another project to work together on - whether it is Doctor Who or another season of Sherlock - then I'm sure we'd want to work together again.' The actress - who has also appeared on HBO's True Blood and in [spooks] - told the Digital Spy website in December that she was keen to reunite with Moffat and his Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss. 'It would be a privilege to work with Steven, Mark and the entire team [again] on this project, and on other projects,' she said.

It was The Night of The Barrowman on BBC1 on Friday evening with Big Gay John appearing not once but twice within the space of a couple of hours. It was just like 2008 all over again. Only less sequins, obviously. One had to resist the urge to have a Father Jack moment re Captain Jack and bellow 'Is that gobshite on the television AGAIN?' Which this blogger just about managed. It was touch and go for a while, mind. (Yer actual Keith Telly Topping hastens to add, that he does like dear old John. A lot. It's just that his occasional TV omnipresence is proper meat-and-drink for the stand-up comedian in me. It's yer actual Keith Telly Topping's cross, dear blog reader, and he can - and does - bear it.) Anyway, back to The Barrowman, he first turned up on an extended episode of The ONE Show as guest alongside a very entertaining Alan Davies. John was, essentially, plugging his new fantasy novel written with his sister, Carole, but the subject matter also covered the return of Tonight's The Night, any potential future in Torchwood (essentially 'I don't know but, if they want me, I'll do it') and all the other stuff that you'd expect from John Barrowman appearing on a chat shot. The magician Hans Klok also featured.
Two hours later, The Barrowman was back playing opposite Raquel Cassidy as a pair of incompetent greedy American con artists taken in by Mickey, Ash and co in the latest episode of Hustle. And, very good he was in it too. The character, he'd confessed earlier, was based on George Bush.
Hustle was watched by 4.78m over night viewers for BBC1. Once again, it just pipped ITV's Law and Order: UK, which scored 4.7m in the same 9pm slot.

It had to happen sooner or later. First they hosedt Have I Got News For You, now MasterChef duo John Torode and Gregg Wallace are the latest celebrities to take on a grand illusion on BBC1's Saturday night series The Magicians. Wallace and Torode - still wearing his jeans-with-turn-ups' combo which we've commented upon before on this blog - perform an (allegedly) 'astonishing' stunt at the top of London's Tate Modern, while working with tricksters Barry and Stuart. Aussie chef John commented: 'This may be the most exciting thing I've done in my life and it's just going to be pure magic!' Gregg added: 'I'm really excited about learning how to do magic, I've always loved it - I had a magician at my wedding. Everybody loves magic and I want to learn how to do proper magic tricks.' Other celebrities on this week's show include Arlene Phillips, who partners magic man Peter Firman (and will, allegedly, 'make a donkey disappear.' No jokes please) and I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity ... winner Phil Tufnell, who teams up with World Champion of Magic Latimer. Now isn't that going to be worth missing Whose Prostitute Is It Anyway? with Paddy McGuinness on ITV? Damn straight.

And so to yer next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:

Saturday 11 February
With Borgen having finished what, you may well ask, are BBC4 intending to do to give us punters our next weekly splash of superior European drama? Good question. Why, of course, it's a new series of Inspector Montalbano - 9:00 - in which the curmudgeonly Sicilian detective returns to investigate the killing of a local businessman called Lapecora. The victim's widow alleges that his Tunisian lover, Karima, who has mysteriously disappeared, was responsible for the dreadful crime. After succeeding in tracking down Karima's five-year-old son Francois, Montalbano begins to believe that the case is linked to another suspicious death of a Tunisian man which occurred that same day. As the inspector searches for the suspect, he asks his partner Livia to look after Francois - little suspecting how attached she will grow to the boy. Italian detective drama, based on the novels by Andrea Camilleri, starring Luca Zingaretti and Katharina Bohm. Somewhat lighter in flavour than, say, The Killing or Spiral but, if you liked BBC4's other European crime drama imports, chances are you'll probably enjoy this one too. If nothing else, it's very pretty to look at.

In the season finale of The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - 8:30 BBC1 - odious, full-of-himself, 'everybody look at me, I love myself' Nick Knowles hosts the show in which two pairs of complete strangers team up, each battling to outdo the other by listing as much as they know about a given subject. Which, instantly, makes them very unlikeable to the viewers as a) most of them are as thick as pig's shit and, as a consequence, even the average viewer with the IQ of the average goldfish knows as much about capitals of the world or Oscar winners since 1986 as these cretins and b) nobody likes a show off. The first couple to win two rounds get to play for fifty thousand smackers and each time the champions defeat a new set of opponents their winnings mount up. Until they are rolling in wonga whilst, simultaneously, being loathed by up to five million punters. Double-edged sword, admittedly. And, if all that alone hasn't persuaded you to slit your own wrists rather than watch this tripe then, how about the fact that it also includes the Lotto and Thunderball draws, with odious full-of-herself 'everybody look at me, I love myself even more than Nick Knowles loves himself' Myleene Klass. Yep, that ought to do it.

Sunday 12 February
Tony Robinson and the team visit Newmarket, where they search the remains of Charles II's property, in a bid to distinguish a racing stable from any other royal one in Time Team - 4:25 Channel Four. A mechanical horse and a visit to Ladies Day add to the excitement, but with limited time and a layer of concrete covering the construction site, the task proves to be problematic. It's the last chance to work here, as construction is about to begin on a multi-million-pound National Horseracing Museum. From the start of the dig, the challenge for the Team is to find evidence that will enable them to distinguish a racing stable from an 'ordinary' royal stable block. The pressure's on for team leader Jackie McKinley to deliver the key small find or insight. With a thick layer of concrete lying over the site, it's not an easy task. And across the road from the stables site, there's a second area to explore: King Charles II's Seventeenth Century Newmarket palace.

Jenny befriends Nonnatus House cleaner Peggy and her brother Frank when she begins treating the latter for cancer, and learns all about the siblings' upbringing and the effect it is has had on their relationship in the latest episode of Call The Midwife - 8:00 BBC1. Meanwhile, Fred has a new money-making venture - a pig called Evie - but his hopes of bringing home the bacon are scuppered when it turns out the porker in question is pregnant - prompting the midwives to rally round to bring the piglets into the world. And then, presumably, slaughter them instead of mum. Hey, it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.

Yer actual Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond take charge of shooting a car chase for a remake of The Sweeney, assisting with the stunt-driving choreography and the direction of lead actors Ray Winstone and Plan B in Top Gear - 8:00 BBC2. Which, no doubt, the Gruniad will, after much searching, find someone on the Internet who believes this to be 'offensive.' In some unspecified but nevertheless whingeworthy way. Meanwhile, James May takes the Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring for a run around the test track - offensive to ... Germans. Probably - and delivers his verdict on the updated Fiat Panda - offensive to Pandas. Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

Lovely and fragrant Stephen Fry hosts The British Academy Film Awards ceremony from London's Royal Opera House in London - 9:00 BBC1 - as stars of the silver screen gather to pat each other on the back in a celebration of past twelve months' cinematic achievements, while the nominated ones keep their fingers crossed that they won't be going home empty-handed. But, at the same time, practice their gracious-in-defeat face just in case. Actors battling it out are Gary Oldman, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Jean Dujardin, while the actress category sees a five-way contest between Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Tilda Swinton, Viola Davis and Berenice Bejo. One person sure to be going home with something is John Hurt, who is picking up an outstanding contribution to cinema award, while The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, The Help and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are all up for the best movie trophy. The night also sees director Martin Scorsese, whose films include Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Raging Bull and Hugo, receive the Academy Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

Monday 13 February
Chandler and the team attend the christening of Miles' daughter, but soon find themselves dealing with a murder case when a fox runs through Whitechapel with a human arm in its mouth in the latest episode of Whitechapel - 9:00 ITV. Fortunately, the fox is soon eliminated from the police's enquiries although, if this had been the 1970s they'd've probably beat a confession out of it - 'I don't it, guv'nor, you got me banged to rights, I'm the fox you're after - and it would have been sent down for life. More body parts from the same person are subsequently washed up from the Thames, but the detectives struggle to identify the victim. Starring Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton.

The patients at Scarborough General Hospital aren't exactly crying out for second helpings of their meals. One says that you could hang wallpaper with the mashed potato, another comments that you could easily walk across it. Well, it serves them right for getting sick in the first place. Anyway, enter chef James Martin, with a look of astonishment on his face as he checks out kitchen shelves stocked with boxes of packet soup and freezers filled with frozen omelettes. Oh God, never let him walk in yer actual Keith Telly Topping's gaff in that case. On, indeed, in any case. Who the hell do these TV chefs think they are coming round Stately Telly Topping Manor for a look in my kitchen. I had to throw Hugh Fearnley-Whitteringstall out into the streets last week when I caught him rooting round in my pantry. It's just not on. Where were we? Oh yes, James Martin. Not, quite, as horrible and puss-ridden as that vile and odious Oliver fellow but, still not somebody I'd like to let loose near actual people. His - self-appointed - mission is to start using locally-sourced ingredients, reduce the waste and simplify the menu cycle. In Operation Hospital Food with James Martin - 7:00 BBC2 - the chef tries to improve the standard of food being served to patients, formulating a plan to provide healthy, appetising meals. In the first edition, he meets catering manager Pat Bell and her team of chefs to find out where the problems lie. It becomes apparent packaged, processed and frozen foods are being used extensively - and for any change to be implemented, he must first educate the staff in the virtues of freshly cooked food.

Antony Barnett investigates the scramble for London 2012 tickets, after 1.8 million people applied to book their seat at the sporting showpiece in the latest episode of Dispatches - 8:00 Channel Four. With the majority of applicants left disappointed, Barnett explores whether the Games will be as accessible and affordable as the organisers had claimed. Perhaps somebody ought to play him - and anybody else who whinges about not having got tickets - Dara O'Briain's thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday 14 February
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings - 9:00 Channel Four - the series exploring the world of modern British gypsies and travellers returns with an exploration of the importance of fashion to members of the community, and the lengths they go to in order to perfect their look. Pineapple and palm tree-themed dresses feature at a flamboyant wedding, a sixteen-year-old takes part in a traveller-only beauty pageant and four cousins compete to have the most memorable outfit at their first Holy Communion. A fascinating look at culture of a world which many viewers don't understand which makes for brilliant television and helps to spread diversity or a crass and insensitive exploitation of that same culture for the purposes of voyeurism that does nothing but play up to stereotypes and fosters intolerance and bigotry? You, as potential viewers, decide dear blog reader.

The hospital decrees that all junior doctors wear white coats to make them easily identifiable, but not everyone is happy with the new look in Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands - 9:00 BBC3. Lucy struggles to tackle the demanding workload on the night shift, while in the acute admissions unit, Aki treats a patient who is determined to go home against his advice, and Amieth continues to deal with a high volume of cases in A&E.

Oliver eagerly anticipates the award ceremony, where he and Jac may be honoured for their research in Holby City - 8:00 BBC1. However, the arrival of a patient with an unusual condition forces him to choose between his moment of glory and carrying out an operation. Chantelle thinks Lleucu has ruined her Valentine's Day plans, while Sacha discovers he may not be able to give Chrissie everything he had intended.
Wednesday 15 February
The remaining seven cooks are challenged to produce dishes celebrating Scottish produce, with Edinburgh chef Tom Kitchin joining Gregg Wallace and John Torode to judge their efforts in the latest episode of yer actual MasterChef - 9:00 BBC1. The six best contestants go on to receive a masterclass in foraged and locally sourced food in Cumbria by Simon Rogan, before cooking a lunch in a temporary kitchen that showcases the area's food. The seventh gets tossed into the gutter along with all the other turds. I know it seems harsh and random, dear blog reader, but as yer actual Gregg Wallace actually says, 'cooking doesn't get any tougher than this.' Actually. It could be worse. In South Pacific Cannibalistic MasterChef, the losers get eaten. Long pig cooked in its own juices. With a berry jeux. True story.

Daddy Daycare - 8:00 Channel Four - is a new series in which nine men with limited childcare experience, who are either fathers or hope to have children soon, try to improve their skills by working in nurseries, taking on a variety of tasks such as nappy changing and supervising playtime. The first edition follows the efforts of three participants at a south London nursery - Garry, a workaholic whose wife thinks he does not have the patience to look after children, ex-military man Stefan, who takes a tough-love approach, and reluctant father-of-one Jay.

Cherry Healey explores the unexpected positive health benefits of everyday foods in Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods - 8:00 BBC1. With the assistance of experts and members of the public, she discovers how milk can help muscles recover from exercise and the way different methods of brewing tea can affect how healthy it is. She also unearths some interesting facts about baked beans and discovers whether people really can become addicted to chocolate.

Thursday 16 February
Hugh Dennis and Julia Bradbury - whom you might consider to be something of an odd presenting couple but not an entirely unattactive one - travel across Britain to explore its landscapes and the people who live in them, as well as how they have been shaped by the country's varied geological history in The Great British Countryside - 8:00 BBC1. Beginning in Cornwall and Devon, Hugh jumps into the Atlantic from a granite clifftop, tries to land in a dangerously placed helipad and retraces the steps of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle. Meanwhile, Julia learns about Cornwall's surfing tradition, and ventures into one of the spookiest areas of Dartmoor.

Award-winning film-maker Kira Phillips' documentary follows the experiences of three men in the weeks before and after they become fathers in A Dad Is Born, the latest Wonderland film. City HR worker Jamie tries to get ready for the big day by reading self-help guides, minicab driver Viktor is determined to put his womanising days behind him and become the perfect family man, while multi-millionaire trader Greg sees his girlfriend's pregnancy as a second chance to make up for past mistakes.

Architect George Clarke comes to the rescue of former Bradford police officer Mark Rand and his wife Pat, whose project to restore the Grade II-listed water tower at Settle station in North Yorkshire has been threatened by the planners' opposition to a glass rooftop extension in this week's The Restoration Man - 9:00 Channel Four. Last in the current series.

Friday 17 February
The con is off in the final episode of Hustle - 9:00 BBC1. After eight years of grifting, Mickey Bricks is ready for a well-earned retirement but he and his team have one final target in their sights - crooked businessman Madani Wasem, who could give them a cool ten million quid payday in a complicated stock-market scam. Even better, Wasem's broker turns out to be none other than Mickey, Ash and Albert's old friend Stacie Monroe, who proves to be a useful insider. But, their prey is a dangerous man, and when an order goes out to kill Mickey once the deal is done, it looks like the hustler's retirement is going to be rather permanent. Adrian Lester heads the regular cast of Robert Glenister, Robert Vaughn, Kelly Adams and Matt Di Angelo in their final outing, with a guest appearance by the series' original female lead Jaime Murray. It's been a good'un, Hustle. A regular solid - and usually highly entertaining - performer for the BBC over eight years. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is, genuinely, sorry to see it go.

Shirley's attempt to defuse the tension between herself and Andrew backfires, leaving Heather feeling torn between her best friend and her fiance in EastEnders - 9:00 BBC1. Tamwar finally summons the courage to show Afia his scars following some words of wisdom from Fat Boy, while Janine is irritated when she receives an unwanted gift from Michael.

Meanwhile, over in Weatherfield, Audrey and Gail take up power-walking, only to bump into Lewis (the great Nigel Havers) at a country pub in Coronation Street - 8:30 ITV. Jason tries to act as mediator between Tyrone, Tommy, Tina and Kirsty as tensions run high, while Julie assures Brian she has never cheated on him. Sylvia prepares to leave for the airport with Milton, and Katy slips out to the shops, leaving Joseph alone again. Robert Vaughn fans be advised, this finishes with just enough time for you to switch channels to see him in the final Hustle. Robert Vaughn in Corrie. Who'd've believed it?!

And, so to the news: Former President Martin Sheen has said that he felt like had 'a responsibility' to his family to explore their ancestry in the new season of the US version of Who Do You Think You Are? The West Wing star kicks off the third season of NBC's genealogy show this week in American when he travels to Spain and Ireland to investigate his family roots, making several surprising discoveries along the way. 'In a sense I was doing it for my grandchildren and their children. I felt like I had a responsibility to go to this place at this time,' he told reporters on a conference call this week. 'I'm seventy one years old and I don't know how much longer I'll be around and if something could be uncovered that would be meaningful to future generations then I would be a part of passing that on and that would be very, very satisfying.' Among the discoveries that Sheen made on his journey was the fact that two of his relatives shared his passion for social justice, suggesting that maybe their shared beliefs are simply part of the family DNA. 'My uncle in Ireland was an Irish volunteer and fought in the War of Independence and then fought against the Free State in the Civil War from 1921 to 1923,' he recalled. 'Then, on my father's side, my father's brother had fought against Franco at the onset of his coup and spent a lot of time in jail. In fact, he received a life sentence that was finally rescinded in 1969. The connections are just amazing in that they're so deeply personal.' Sheen added: 'Both of them had risen up against oppression, and in one case a dictatorship in Spain, and had suffered mightily for it, but stuck to his principles. [I felt] maybe this is some unknown quality that I have possessed, not to the extent that these gentleman did because they were absolutely heroic and risked their lives, but the message was clear that maybe this is part of my DNA.' Sheen admitted that there was a 'concern' that some unsavoury elements could be uncovered in his past, revealing his 'relief' at learning one of his relatives had not been involved in the assassination of Michael Collins. 'When I was in Ireland and discovering the involvement of my uncle in the rising and the Civil War, because he took an opposing side to de Valera, I was afraid he might have been in on the plan to assassinate Mick Collins, but as it turned out he was in prison when Collins was assassinated and I was deeply relieved.' As for the stand out moment of his journey, the actor said it was discovering an 'astonishing' old family connection in Tous. 'As I said in the show, if you were to write a novel with all of these intriguing relationships so long ago your editor would be remiss if they didn't say, "This is too far-fetched, no-one will ever believe this." But in fact it was true!' Sheen told the Digital Spy website that nobody in his family had really researched their roots fully until Who Do You Think You Are? arrived, saying that although the family was in contact with their Irish and Spanish relatives, it was mainly through letters. 'Really, the only connection was through the mail. I remember specifically how often we would receive letters from both sides of the family, and when a letter came with a black border it meant someone in the family had passed away and the news was finally reaching us - sometimes it would be months, or, at best, weeks beforehand,' he said. 'This is long before telephone service was opened and we could talk to relatives overseas, and certainly long before the Internet, which has opened up the whole world and all of our pasts can be examined now, thank heaven.' Sheen said that the overall experience had been a 'wonderful confirmation' of how everybody now has the means to explore their roots, adding that although he has been in contact with his overseas relatives for many years, this journey had been the 'most gratifying' of any trip he had taken to Ireland or Spain. 'It was specifically done to unearth my heritage and I took it very, very personal and embraced it wholeheartedly,' he said. 'No matter what came down I was going to accept it. I wasn't always prepared for what I learned but the journey itself was deeply satisfying. I've seen the episode and and it's a very clear reflection of my journey.' Summing up his entire experience, he added: 'I didn't know what I was in for yet it was like going on a rollercoaster ride. If you love adventure, strap your seat-belt and if you think you know where you are going or what you're going to see you better get ready to be surprised and, in most cases, to be very surprised and very gratified. I would recommend it to anybody.'

Kelly Brook has suggested that greedy talentless waste-of-space Alesha Dixon may have made a bad career move switching talent shows from Strictly Come Dancing to Britain's Got Talent. Brook, who herself was an embarrassing failure and was fired after working on the Britain's Got Talent judging panel for only six days, branded Simon Cowell's ITV show 'a circus.' The model and actress (well, allegedly), who has also competed on Strictly Come Dancing, said that the atmosphere was much better on the BBC1 celebrity talent series. Brook told this week's Fabulous magazine: 'I've been on both sides, and for me there's a warmth and a niceness to Strictly that BGT simply doesn't have. The whole thing is a circus and I don't want my life to be like that. I'm quite straightforward. I've got enough drama in my life without having to deal with Simon Cowell's as well! I don't want it. I've got no interest in it.' She added: 'I don't doubt for a second that Simon deliberately stole her from Strictly. I wish Alesha all the best - it's a fantastic opportunity.' Amanda Holden said at the launch of this year's Britain's Got Talent that Alesha Dixon would last longer than Brook on the show because she had 'a brain.' Ant and Dec have also been critical of Brook's efforts on the programme, claiming that it was 'a bad decision' to hire her in the first place.

The BBC has accused Iran of intimidating staff at its BBC Persian TV service through a campaign involving slander, arrests and the hacking of Facebook accounts. BBC director general Mark Thompson said on Friday that the Tehran authorities were waging a programme of 'bullying and harassment' against BBC Persian. In a blog post, Thompson said that last week the sister of a BBC Persian staff member was detained and held in solitary confinement in Iran. She has since been released. 'In recent months a number of relatives of members of BBC Persian staff have been detained for short periods of time by the Iranian authorities and urged to get their relatives in London to either stop working for the BBC, or to "co-operate" with Iranian intelligence officials,' said Thompson. 'In other instances, passports of family members have been confiscated, preventing them from leaving Iran. This has left many BBC Persian staff too afraid to return to the country, even to visit sick or elderly relatives. Some have had their Facebook and e-mail accounts hacked. 'In addition, there has been a consistent stream of false and slanderous accusations against BBC Persian staff in the official Iranian media, ranging from allegations of serious sexual assault, drug trafficking, and criminal financial behaviour.' Thompson noted that Iran had repeatedly attempted to jam international TV stations such as BBC Persian in a campaign to 'prevent the Iranian people from accessing a vital source of free information.' Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran have deteriorated in recent months due to tensions over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. BBC Persian head Sadegh Saba said that direct actions against the BBC by Iran have 'intensified' of late. 'We have witnessed increasing levels of intimidation, as well as attempts to interfere with our independence,' she said. 'The Iranian government has detained and summoned a number of people allegedly working for the BBC Persian service. There have also been cases of intimidation, questioning and detention involving relatives of BBC staff.' Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said that detaining BBC reporters was part of 'a wider campaign to harass Iranian journalists by putting pressure on them and their families.' She added: 'It suggests that authorities detained the relative to silence the reporter and the BBC. It also sends a message that the government's long arm of repression can extend well beyond borders.' Thompson said that issue of harassment by Iran was 'wider than the BBC' as other international media faced 'similar challenges.' He repeated calls for the Iranian government to 'repudiate the actions of its officials,' and asked the UK Foreign Office and international regulatory bodies to exert pressure on Tehran to end 'this campaign of intimidation, persistent censorship and a disturbing abuse of power.'

The Premier League is claiming victory against the importers of foreign satellite TV decoders in a high-profile copyright court battle. Some British pubs purchase satellite systems from other parts of the European Union, in order to offer Premier League football at a much cheaper cost than Sky and ESPN. The High Court has now said that the league can take action against the pubs on grounds of breach of copyright. But the satellite TV firms claim that they are still free to continue offering their services. The Premier League took out a civil action against digital box provider QC Suppler and publican SR Leisure Limited, but the case was put on hold in the UK after it was referred to the European Court for legal advice. The case was heard alongside the legal action of pub landlady Karen Murphy, who had bought a Greek satellite TV service using a QC decoder to use in her pub in Southsea. In a landmark ruling last October the European Court of Justice said that national laws prohibiting the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards were 'contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums.' However, the court also said that any opening video sequences, the Premier League anthem and pre-recorded highlights or graphics were 'works' and so to show them in a pub would require permission from the Premier League. Following the ruling, the High Court said that importers of foreign satellite equipment had breached the Premier League's copyright by allowing pubs to show foreign broadcasts. But Lord Justice Kitchin said that the league had only proved its claims of breach of copyright 'to a limited extent. The defendants who are continuing to trade must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids infringement of [Premier League] copyright if they are able to do so,' Kitchin said in the judgment. Nick Noble, a Premier League spokesman, said that the judgement was 'consistent with the ECJ ruling,' adding: 'The law gives us the right to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights in pubs and clubs when they are communicated to the public without our authority.' In a statement, the league added: 'We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority.' But Anand Pattani, the lawyer representing QC Leisure and other defendants, told BBC News that the judge had 'dismissed' the majority of league's claims against his clients. 'Our clients are extremely pleased that, in line with the finding of the European Court, the judgment confirms that the majority of claims against our clients are to be dismissed,' he said. 'Insofar as there has been a finding of infringement relating to a limited number of artistic works our clients also welcome Lord Justice Kitchin's confirmation that they must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids any such infringement.' Karen Murphy's case is due to be heard in the High Court later this year.

Actors should be given clearer and more prominent TV credits, according to a survey carried out by an acting union. Equity said it commissioned a survey, following complaints from viewers about fast-rolling and shrunken credits. More than ten thousand people responded, with eighty eight per cent saying they were 'annoyed' when squeezed credits were hard to read. Equity's Christine Payne said unreadable TV credits at the end of a programme showed a 'lack of respect' to the actors. Popular dramas including Sherlock, Poirot, Great Expectations, Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey were among the programmes that participants singled out for sometimes displaying illegible credits. The results also suggested that more than half of the people who participated in the poll, would like to see credits available online as well as on TV. 'While the viewers who took part in this survey may be a tiny fraction of the millions of UK citizens who watch TV every day, there is very little comfort for broadcasters in their responses,' Payne said. The BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas said: 'This isn't a statistically representative survey, but it shows that people who are most interested in TV programmes feel strongly about this issue.' Equity have campaigned since 2004 to give more prominence to actors and their TV credits, but broadcasters are yet to introduce any changes. The union said that it planned to write to all the major channels again, in a bid to get them to implement changes. A BBC statement said: 'We're always mindful of how and when we squeeze credits, and will only do so if we believe there is a benefit to the audience. Our research shows that viewers respond well to this method of informing our audiences about our programmes when navigating between channels.' An ITV spokesman said it designs its 'standard credits to ensure that they are legible for viewers. We very rarely receive complaints that they are unreadable or scrolled too quickly,' he said.

It is a far cry from the usual James Bond scenes of car chases and beautiful women. But MI6, has taken out a series of low-key newspaper adverts designed to filter out wannabe Bonds with a low attention span. 'Waiting is passive. Boring. A waste of time. But wait. Is that always the case?' asked one of this week's adverts in the Evening Standard, which featured heavy paragraphs of text and a shadowy man sat in a hotel bedroom. 'By reading between the lines, you've probably guessed what we're after.' Where can we sign up?! I've always fancied being spookish.
A woman dressed in Catwoman attire has pepper-sprayed an Ozzy Osbourne impersonator in Los Angeles. Only in America, ladies and gentlemen. The incident happened on Thursday outside the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, where people dress up and take pictures with tourists. The Osbourne impersonator and a man dressed in an Alien mask were continually disrupting Catwoman from taking photos with visitors, reports NBC Los Angeles. Catwoman reportedly told the pair that she would pepper-spray them if they didn't stop 'harassing' her. She said: '[Osbourne] was antagonising me to do so, so I did.' No-one was seriously hurt in the incident but police were dispatched to investigate at around 5.30pm local time. Initial reports misidentified the Ozzy impersonator as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. if I was Johnny Depp, I'd be mortified. American comedian Kirk Fox tweeted: 'Catwoman, a pirate, and an alien just got in a huge fight in Hollywood in front of Chinese Theater. Spiderman and Batman just watched.[sic]' He continued: 'I never have wanted to see a fight as bad as the one I just mentioned in my last tweet. I hear the helicopter above it as I tweet. Who won?' No-one was arrested following the incident.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's the Television Personalities.

1 comment:

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