Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Boy Looked At Johnny

Despite much hype, and plenty of advertising, Mad Men's initial outing on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday evening returned hugely disappointing overnight viewing figures for the satellite channel. The double-bill series five opener, showing from 9pm, garnered an average audience of just seventy two thousand punters, according to overnight results. Worse, half of its viewers disappeared between episode one (ninety eight thousand) and episode two (forty five thousand). Back on UK screens after a year-and-a-half break, the tale of 1960s Madison Avenue advertising executives was previously screened on BBC4, where the series four opener drew three hundred and fifty five thousand viewers in its 10pm slot. The results are even disappointing by Sky Atlantic's own standards, too - its most successful show to date, Game of Thrones, peaked with over eight hundred thousand viewers, huge figures compared to what Mad Men managed. Elsewhere on the multichannels, Touch garnered just a shade under six hundred thousand viewers on Sky1, slightly down on the seven hundred and fifty seven who watched the premiere episode the previous week. The Vampire Diaries had three hundred and seventy two thousand on ITV2 (with a further one hundred and forty thousand punters on +1). On terrestrial, BBC1's new drama series The Syndicate attracted 5.2m viewers from 9pm, overpowering ITV's live FA Cup coverage of The Mackem Scum getting twanked by Everton which averaged 3.21m from 7.30pm to 10.10pm. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings continued its downward spiral (at least on overnights) drawing 3.38m in the 9pm hour on Channel Four with a timeshift rating of just under eight hundred thousand. Supersize v Superskinny preceded it with 1.58m crushed victims of society. BBC2 showed Hairy Bikers' Bakeation (2.19m), Horizon (1.6m) and Never Mind the Buzzcocks (1.19m). On Channel Five, the latest episode of CSI appealed to 1.51m from 10pm. Overall, BBC1 won primetime comfortably with 23.6 per cent of the audience share, giving ITV's 15.4 per cent a damned good skudding.

Meanwhile, here's the latest episode of the nation's favourite, Daybreakwatch:
1 March 747k AI 74
2 March 718k AI 71
5 March 725k AI 72
6 March 767k AI 74
7 March 701k AI 71
8 March 748k AI 68
9 March 780k AI 73
12 March 692k AI 71
13 March 741k AI 71
14 March 733k AI 73
15 March 765k AI 72
16 March 802k AI 72
19 March 758k AI 72
20 March 818k AI 72
21 March 748k AI 70
22 March 783k AI 71
23 March 796k AI 72
26 March 648k AI 73
27 March 655k
Bless 'em, they're still trying so manfully (or, in horrible Kate Garraway's case, womanfully) to reach average in terms of both viewers and audience appreciation. And, they're still falling miserably short. Keep going, kids, it's not the winning that's important but the taking part.

Oh, and finally on the subject of viewing figures, the single most important ratings for the last week were for Sunday's Sky Sport 1: Live Ford Super Sunday and the match between West Bromwich Albinos and Yer Actual Keith Telly Topping's Beloved (though still unsellable) Magpies, which was watched by eight hundred and sixty two thousand punters. So, there you have it. dear blog reader. My football team are more than ten times more popular than Mad Men. Not that there was ever any doubt about this, of course...

Jason Manford (remember him?) is to star in a new ITV sitcom about a family of nudists. Naked House will see the comic play a father who is forced to move back in with his retired parents. However, Manford's character is shocked and stunned when he discovers that both his mother and father have embraced naturism since retiring. A pilot for the sitcom - which is being made by Leftbank Pictures - will shoot at the BBC's Elstree Studios on 27 April. ITV is also developing sitcom pilot The Job Lot, starring Russell Tovey and Hollyoaks's Emma Rigby. Last month, it was also reported that the channel had hired Harry Hill and Alistair McGowan to appear on new sports-based panel show You Cannot Be Serious! Manford was recently confirmed to appear in the West End production of Sweeney Todd. The comedian and former ONE Show host will make his stage debut as Italian barber Adolfo Pirelli, appearing at London's Adelphi theatre between 2 and 27 July.

A Take Me Out contestant was removed from last week's episode because he hid an assault conviction from producers, it has been reported. Jarvis Walters, a thirty-year-old semi-professional footballer, previously filmed a segment on the odious, risible Paddy McGuinness-fronted dating show, but his entire piece was cut when 'fresh background checks' revealed that he received a twelve-month community order for attacking a man in 2009. Walters told the Sun that Take Me Out 'bosses' had 'lost out big time' by removing him from the show, as he believed his date with co-star Hannah Reville was 'the best ever.' So, he's almost a modest chap, this guy then? However, Reville 'fumed' to the publication about being cut due to Walters's past behaviour, saying: 'He did something wrong - I did nothing.' Pretty much a summation of everyone that takes part in this odious fiasco of a programme I'd've said. Nothing. Anyway, a spokesperson for Take Me Out - who, seemingly, wasn't embarrassed to the point of shame by being associated with the show - confirmed: 'Jarvis did not declare a conviction that came to light.' The move comes after a date between Take Me Out contestants Aaron Withers and Wen-Jing Mo was cut from an earlier episode when it emerged that they had both worked as escorts and he had been convicted of assaulting a couple. ITV 'chiefs', the Sun claim, warned producers that such scandals were 'totally unacceptable.' Not least for the people getting assaulted in the first place, dare one suggest.

Daleks will be invading various navy-related museums in England over the next few months. The Dalek Invasion of Portsmouth on Sunday 6 May will see an army of Daleks built by enthusiasts descend on the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth. No one knows why. Museum spokeswoman Clare Chapman told the Doctor Who News website that the idea for it came following the success of similar events held in previous years at partner establishment the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton. Special guest appearances - yet to be confirmed - will also be made at the Portsmouth event, and there will be photo opportunities with the Daleks. In addition, traders will be in attendance and 'a Dalek hunt' will be held around the museum, while a fancy-dress competition will see prizes given to children who have the best SF outfits.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum will be hosting its own Dalek Invasion over the weekend of 18 and 19 August. As well as a host of Daleks, visitors will also get to see Davros, Miss Hartigan, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, a Pig Slave and a Weeping Angel among the attractions. In addition, a short play called The Master Strikes Back will be staged and a 'Doctors versus Daleks' quiz will be held. Answer number one: 'He always wins.' Answer number two: 'Run up a flight of stairs.' Traders and celebrities are also promised. A March of the Daleks will take place at the end of each day, with the Dalek army and 'friends' parading through the Fleet Air Arm Museum and assembling under its Concorde for a huge photo opportunity.

Doctor Who's executive producer Caroline Skinner has confirmed that there are no plans for Doctor Who Confidential to return since BBC3 controller Zai Bennett cancelled it, but revealed that the show's official website will host some 'making-of' content for the new series. Speaking at the Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff at the weekend, Skinner added that there will also be behind the scenes footage and video diaries posted on the site throughout the production of the series in addition to the technical content. Amy and Rory's departure will also be chronicled in a special song that the BBC will post after the characters depart in the fifth episode of series seven. Meanwhile, showrunner Steven Moffat - keen to address some perceived fan disappointment at Amy and Rory's arc so far, and the decision have them travel with the Doctor again after leaving in series six's The God Complex - suggested that 'you don't know if you like a story until you know how it ends.' When asked if the departure of Amy and Rory was the actors' decision or the producers', Karen Gillan was quick to point out that it was 'a mutual decision.' Arthur Darvill, recognising how this sounded, joked that 'it sounds like a massive lie,' to which Gillan responded: 'But, it's actually true!'

Wendy Darke, acting head of the BBC's Natural History Unit since February, has been confirmed in the post. The NHU has never before had a female leader, but Darke has a long and distinguished career in natural history programming and has worked in the unit for twenty years. Darke said she was 'delighted' to get the job, adding: 'There are some exciting challenges ahead and I look forward to seeing the NHU broaden its range of quality output whilst maintaining its reputation as number one in the world in natural history landmark production.' Her CV includes Land of the Tiger and Big Cat Diary, and as executive producer, Children's Natural History, she led the team that developed the BAFTA award winning Deadly Sixty brand for CBBC. The show was a huge hit in the UK and has been sold around the world. Tom Archer, controller Factual Production, told staff Darke will be supported in her role by Mike Gunton, the NHU creative director. Archer said: 'Wendy and Mike will lead a team of world-class creatives. Between them, they will cement the NHU as the global leader in natural history television, radio and online content.'

Changes to the law permitting television cameras to film the sentencing of criminals are expected to be included in the Queen's speech in May. Downing Street and the Ministry of Justice have repeatedly expressed support for the scheme, which, it is argued, would help the public understand complex legal procedures. In its initial phase, cameras would be allowed to film the judge's summing up and sentencing remarks in the court of appeal. If successful, filming would be extended to the crown court. A change in the law is required because cameras are forbidden in court under the 1925 Criminal Justice Act and the 1981 Contempt of Court Act. The proceedings of the supreme court at Westminster, however, are already broadcast live in their entirety. The highest court in the land, which does not cross-examine witnesses and defendants but deals with legal precedents, is governed by separate regulations. Sky News, ITN and the BBC said in a joint statement: 'This would be a positive step forward for transparency and democracy and we welcome the opportunity to work with the judiciary to ensure justice can be seen to be done.' John Battle, head of compliance for ITN, the broadcaster behind ITV News, Channel Four News and Five News, said that allowing cameras in court would be an important landmark change to the judicial system. 'It will bring greater openness to the judicial system, greater public awareness, and a greater understanding of the whole process of justice,' he said. 'The lobbying has been going on for a significant period of time, starting in 1989. Over the last ten years there has been significant lobbying by broadcasters and important staging posts that show that cameras in court work and do not affect proceedings. It's been a long road but in the interests of greater openness this is a significant landmark for change.' Last September the justice secretary, Big Cuddly Ken Clarke, said that the government and judiciary were 'determined to improve transparency' and public understanding of courts through allowing court broadcasting. 'We believe television has a role in increasing public confidence in the justice system. Broadcasting will initially be allowed from the court of appeal, and government will look to expand to the crown court later. All changes will be worked out in close consultation with the judiciary.' That promise, it is expected, will be delivered in the government's legislative programme for next year. In May last year, the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, backed the use of cameras in court, saying: 'In principle I would support a proposal that judgments, judges' closing remarks and judicial sentencing in criminal cases could be televised. There may be a case for going further, although I would obviously not want to promote anything that adversely affected the ability of victims or witnesses to give their best evidence to the court. Therefore there would need to be appropriate safeguards, particularly in cases involving vulnerable individuals, and any requests to televise any part of the court process should be subject to the judge's individual discretion.'

According to Brendan O'Carroll series three of Mrs Brown's Boys will be filmed in September and October of this year. He also said that four Christmas specials have been commissioned by the BBC, two for this year and two for 2013.

Channel Four's flagship investigative documentary strand Dispatches has hired former Tyne Tees News presenter Morland Sanders. In his new regular role with the production Sanders will present topical high profile investigations across a wide range of subjects. He will report to the recently appointed Dispatches Editor, Daniel Pearl. Sanders, says: 'This is an amazing opportunity to be involved with a current affairs brand that I have admired for many years. The programme comes with an enviable pedigree of great journalism - I am proud to be associated.' He is currently the North of England Correspondent for Channel Four News and has previously over the last six months reported for major current affairs investigations including the recent expose of the multi-million-pound world of online ticket reselling. Sanders is a multi-award winning reporter with over twenty years experience. He has previously reported for local news programme Tyne Tees Today, BBC Radio 4 and ITV's rather lightweight current affairs strand Tonight.

The UK police were right not to 'put the record straight' over false reports claiming Gerry and Kate McCann were implicated in their daughter's disappearance, the Leveson inquiry has heard claimed. Matthew Baggott, the former chief constable of Leicestershire police, told the inquiry on Wednesday that he 'could not' have released information about DNA tests conducted in the UK to counter leaks by the Portuguese police which falsely claimed they showed the McCanns had hidden Madeleine in the boot of a hire car in Portugal. Baggott said there were both 'legal and professional reasons' for this. Portuguese secrecy laws made it 'utterly wrong to have somehow, in an off-the-record way, have breached what was a very clear legal requirement upon the Portuguese themselves,' he told Lord Justice Leveson. He also said that the Leicestershire force's priority was to maintain a positive relationship with the Portuguese police, with a view to 'eventually resolving what happened to that poor child.' Last November the Leveson inquiry heard how the Daily Scum Express reported there was DNA evidence that could show the little girl's body had been stored in the spare tyre well of a hire car. It turned out the analysis conducted in the UK was 'inconclusive' and there was 'no foundation' for making that allegation. Express Newspapers eventually paid five hundred and fifty thousand smackers in damages to the McCann's in 2008 for inaccurate reporting by the Daily Scum Express and the publisher's three other titles, including the odious Daily Lies. Leveson asked Baggot about evidence submitted by a Daily Lies crime reporter two weeks ago that the Leicestershire police 'knew perfectly well that the results didn't demonstrate that,' and could have given off-the-record briefings to British journalists not to report a DNA link. 'Even with the benefit of hindsight, sir, I'm still convinced we did the right thing and I think integrity and confidence, particularly with the Portuguese, featured very highly in our decision-making at that time,' said Baggott. He added: 'So the relationship of trust and confidence would have been undermined if we had gone off the record in some way or tried to put the record straight, contrary to the way in which the Portuguese law was configured and their own leadership of that.' When they appeared before Leveson late last year, Gerry and Kate McCann told how they were 'left distraught' by such false claims in the UK press that they were responsible for their daughter's disappearance. Leveson later accused the Daily Scum Express of writing 'complete piffle' and 'tittle tattle' about Madeleine McCann.

There's a truly hilarious piece in the Gruniad Morning Star to which I urgently draw dear blog reader's attentions to. Claims that Wee Shughie McFee, the miserable Scottish chef off Crossroads 'crushed the dream of a thirteen-year-old girl' who wanted to make the harp 'the new guitar.' The bastard. (Wee Shughie McFee, the miserable Scottish chef off Crossroads, that is, not the little girl. Oh no, very hot water.) 'In October I had my audition in front of the judges. In the holding area I sat by an old man with a suitcase full of live cockroaches that he was eating for his performance, two rollerbladers (one in swimming shorts), some line dancers and a man who was reciting lines from Gladiator.' And you thought showbiz was full of glam, dear blog reader?
The Australian government has called for an investigation into allegations that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation engaged in hacking and piracy against its pay-TV rivals. Earlier in the week, the BBC's Panorama programme broadcast claims suggesting that the part News Corp-owned NDS smartcard maker hacked into the technology used by ITVdigital - a key rival to News Corp's Sky - and then made the data available to pirates. This was followed on Wednesday by a report in the Australian Financial Review, claiming that News Corp also engaged in high-tech piracy to sabotage its rivals in Australia, including Optus and Austar. The Australian Financial Review, owned by Fairfax a rival media group to News Corp, claimed that during a four-year investigation it had received over fourteen thousand e-mails from a hard drive in a laptop used by Ray Adams, who acted as NDS's European security chief until May 2002. Panorama also referred to Adams as the key contact for alleged piracy activity against ITVdigital, operated through a hacker website called The House of Ill Compute. It is alleged that NDS supplied pay-TV pirates with codes for rival smartcards, enabling them to flood the black market with counterfeit cards, costing firms such as ITVdigital and Austar millions in lost revenue and devaluing their businesses. A spokeswoman for the Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the allegations were 'significant' and called for a police investigation. 'These are serious allegations, and any allegations of criminal activity should be referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation,' she said. Australian deputy prime minister Wayne Swan also said that the allegations were 'concerning.' The Australian Federal Police confirmed that it is working with UK police investigating revelations of phone and computer hacking at News Corporation's subsidiaries, including the now defunct tabloid newspaper, the Scum of the World. The revelation comes as the competition regulator in Australia examines the proposed takeover of Austar by Foxtel, which is twenty five per cent owned by News Corporation, in a two billion Australian dollar deal which would enable Murdoch to dominate the Australian pay-TV industry. However, News Corp has denied any role in hacking and piracy against rival pay-TV operators. News Limited, the firm's Australian division, said that the Australian Financial Review report was 'full of factual inaccuracies, flawed references, fanciful conclusions and baseless accusations.' They said that the company had 'spent considerable resources fighting piracy in Australia,' adding: 'It is ironic and deeply frustrating that we should be drawn into a story concerning the facilitation of piracy.' Pressure is mounting on Murdoch's News Corp as the UK media regulator, Ofcom, is currently reviewing whether the firm is 'fit and proper' to retain its thirty nine per cent stake in BSkyB, as well as whether James Murdoch should remain as chairman. Ofcom said that it will investigate 'all evidence' of phone and computer hacking in its investigation. The BBC's Panorama programme featured claims that NDS recruited a hacker to acquire the smartcard codes used by Ondigital, later ITVdigital, before releasing the information to pirates for them to make counterfeit cards. ITVdigital collapsed in 2002, leaving the way clear for Rupert Murdoch's Sky to dominate the market. NDS, which recently acquired by US technology giant Cisco, denies all the allegations against it.

The summer riots across parts of the UK last year were 'made worse' by rolling TV news channels and social media such as Twitter and Facebook, according to an independent panel set up by the government to examine the roots of the unrest. They were also made worse by the sheer naked greed of those taking part, too. Just, you know, for a bit of perspective. We have TV rolling news, Twitter and Facebook not to mention all of the social problems which others have claimed were a contributing factor to the riot in numerous cities across Britain too. Yet there were no riots in Newcastle. Or Glasgow. Or Sheffield. Or Bristol. Or plenty of other places, for that matter. In a report published on Tuesday, the Riots Communities and Victims Panel said social networking and TV footage of police officers watching people 'loot at will' helped to fuel the disorder in London and other UK cities. However, having delivered some top quality knee-jerk crap in an attempt to explain a very easily explainable situation (some people are, quite simply, greedy scum always wanting what they haven't got), the allegedly 'expert' panel then, hilariously, warned against knee-jerk plans to shut down social networks in time of public unrest, concluding that 'viral silence may have as many dangers as viral noise.' So, in other words, 'we haven't got a frigging clue what we're talking about.' Yeah, sounds about right. The role of online networks – such as Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger – came under the spotlight from the government and the former acting head of Scotland Yard in August after they were said to be 'a key tool' for rioters to organise the unrest. The panel, which visited twenty one communities and interviewed thousands of people affected by the riots, concluded that there was 'no question' that rioters were 'aided' by the existence of social media. 'From the evidence around the August riots and from what people have subsequently told us, it seems clear to us that the spread of rioting was made worse both by televised images of police apparently watching people cause damage and loot at will, and by the ability of social media to bring together determined people to act collectively,' the panel said. The panel, chaired by Darra Singh, said many people felt that twenty four-hour news coverage on BBC News and Sky News exaggerated the extent of rioting in their area, and helped 'make rioting a self-fulfilling prophecy' by inadvertently directing rioters to trouble hotspots. Unsubstantiated rumours spread by the breaking news tickers of major news outlets may also have encouraged more rioting, the panel said. On the role of social networks, the panel concluded that rioters were aided by instant messaging services but warned against plans to shut down websites such as Twitter and Facebook. They pointed out that the UK has pledged support for the open use of social media during the Arab spring uprising across the Middle East. 'Mobile communications technology is continually evolving and new developments may benefit the police and authorities rather than rioters,' the panel concluded. They added that some mobile networks have installed systems to detect crowds and the direction they are moving in so they can manage congestion. 'In the future, it may be possible to use cell congestion monitoring as a tool to tackle rioting,' the report found. 'What is clear from the riots is that there is no simple "switch off" solution. Viral silence may have as many dangers as viral noise.' No shit? Jesus, and these people - presumably - got paid to come up with this crap.

This is a treat for yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch fan - lashings of Benedict's rich, warm baritone as he muses on the art of acting, drives around London (always looking left and right before exiting a junction) and drinks tea in front of a crackling fire. Nice.

Tom Stoppard's award-winning play The Real Thing is to be revived to mark the thirtieth anniversary of its debut. In a joint venture, the English Touring Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse are to stage the production, which was first performed in 1982. The play will open at West Yorkshire's Quarry venue in May, before touring round the country. Felicity Kendal and one of yer actual keith Telly Topping's favourite actors, Roger Rees, played the starring roles in the original production. It was named best production at the Evening Standard Awards and Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons both won Tony Awards for the starring roles in the Broadway production. Since then, there have been several adaptations of the play, including a version for Radio 4 in 2006. It was the first radio play which was directed by Sir Trevor Nunn.

The British Film Institute's National Archive will receive a windfall of material from the Central Office of Information when the Office is formally closed at the end of March. Twenty thousand different films will pass into the BFI's hands after the closure, making the COI archive the largest single collection ever to be acquired by the Institute. Amanda Nevill, the BFI's Chief Executive, said: 'The COI films are wonderful and important examples of British film-making. Often quirky and eccentric, these films over the last sixty six years tell rich and diverse stories about British life. The fact that they were used so effectively by Government departments really demonstrates the power that film has in capturing the nation's attention and influencing Britain and we are very proud that the BFI National Archive is the films' new guardian.' Among the titles making their way to the BFI are Royal Destiny (1953), a look at the Queen's early life; Sierra Leone Greets the Queen (1962) and Britain Welcomes the Emperor and Empress of Japan (1971), which showcases the controversial state visit of Emperor Hirohito and his wife. Films made for children, including those featuring Charley the Cat, the Green Cross Code Man and Tufty the Squirrel, will also become sole property of the BFI when the collection is absorbed into its archive. As will the perfectly terrifying I Am The Spirit Of Dark And Lonely Water. And, the far funnier Fatal Floor. The COI collection will be made available on multiple platforms, with a selection of the films being available to view at the BFI's Mediatheques at QUAD Derby, Wrexham Library, Newcastle Discovery Museum, Cambridge Central Library, BFI National Library and BFI Southbank, London. Other titles can be found on the BFI's YouTube channel. The BFI has already issued six compilation DVDs of COI material, and a new collection called Volume Seven: The Queen on Tour will be released in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The FA is investigating a mass brawl among players from Bradford City and Crawley Town. With the punchin' and the kickin' and the geet rive-on with kids gettin' sparked and aal-sorts. As the late Phil Lynott so wisely noted: 'If the boys wanna fight, you better let 'em!' The League Two game ended in total bloody chaos with a general punch up among most of the players, five of whom were sent off - equalling the previous record. For those interested in such minutia Crawley won the match 2-1. Bradford won the dismissal count 3-2. Referee Ian Williamson hauled City trio Andrew Davies, Jon McLaughlin and Luke Oliver into his room and showed his red card to all three once tempers had cooled somewhat. Then, he summoned Crawley's Pablo Mills and Claude Davis and administered retrospective dismissals for violent conduct, to equal the record for five players sent off in a league match. It has since emerged that further punishments are likely to follow if the FA can pick out other players throwing punches on video footage of the shameful fracas. Trouble flared on the final whistle of an ill-tempered match when Parkinson, riled he claimed by the Red Devils' gamesmanship, turned his back on Steve Evans, the Crawley manager, while Davies appeared to spark the mayhem on the pitch by throwing a punch at Davis. Within seconds, the bad blood had spilled over into a sick free-for-all, and both clubs will be hit with an FA charge of failing to control their players. Davies, who is on loan from Stoke City, will serve a five-match ban after being sent off for the third time this season. If the FA distributes a sixth red card retrospectively, the game will go down as the dirtiest game in league history, beating the five reds shown at Chesterfield vs Plymouth in February 1997, Wigan vs Bristol Rovers in December that year and Exeter vs Cambridge in November 2002. Thankfully, they have some way to go before they match the thirty six red cards - all twenty two players plus technical staff from both dugouts - when tempers frayed between Claypole and Victoriano Arenas in Argentina last year.

England is the only one of fifty three European countries still to sign a final agreement with UEFA over broadcast rights, it emerged on Wednesday. UEFA has not finalised an agreement with the Football Association over selling the rights on a pan-European basis – and the European body plans to go to tender in two weeks. The FA signed an initial mandate a year ago but the UEFA general secretary, Gianni Infantino, revealed the latest stand-off at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, though he said he was confident a deal could be finalised 'in the next couple of days.' Infantino said: 'The sticking points are minor rights details, radio rights and so on, and it is a matter of sitting around the table and discussing that. We have reached agreements with fifty two out of the fifty three countries so there is no reason why we should not reach it with England, we still have a couple of days and there are just a couple of minor points. It will have a seismic effect on the football landscape across Europe.' All countries have signed a mandate agreeing a guaranteed minimum income from UEFA for the TV rights.

On Thursday evening, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self will be attention Scunthorpe Steve Drayton's latest The Record Player event at the Tyneside. This week, it's a New York Punk double-header of Marquee Moon and Horses. We've already had some Television for yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day earlier this week so, instead, for Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day, here's Patti. And Lenny, Ivan, Jay Dee and Richard. Dip in to the sea, to the sea of possibilities.

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