Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Give Me Your Hammer To Shatter The Dream

The twenty five year old former Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman is to join Doctor Who as Matt Smith's new companion. But, viewers will have to wait until the show's Christmas special to meet her. Coleman will take over from Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, who have played Amy Pond and Rory Williams in the show for the past two series, in what showrunner Steven Moffat described as 'a very, very different way for the Doctor to meet his new friend.' The Lord Thy God Moffat refused to even reveal the name of Coleman's character in the show. 'Who she's playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters,' Moffat said. 'Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy meets girl.' Coleman, who is due to start work on the show next weekend, has had to keep the news of her new role secret until today's announcement. 'A few members of my family knew but it's a huge relief today to be able to phone up my flatmate and tell them,' she said. 'I've had a few conversations with Matt who's been amazing. He texted me this morning wishing me good luck and "We'll have the best time ever," I think were his words. So he's been very supportive and very excited.' Claiming that she was a fan of the show, Jenna-Louise said that David Tennant and Billie Piper were probably The Doctor and companion team that she was most fond of. The seventh series of the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama will start with six episodes - including the Christmas special - in the autumn, with a further eight episodes to follow in early 2013. 'Amy and Rory will leave in the fifth [episode] that goes out,' said Moffat. 'It will be a final encounter with The [Weeping] Angels and not everybody gets out alive – and I mean it this time.' The show will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year, but the writer refused to be drawn on what plans he has in store for that. It's still not certain that Matt Smith will remain in his role as the Doctor for the eighth series of the show. 'We take it a year at a time and that's the only sensible way you can deal with it,' Moffat noted. 'It's a huge amount of time filming a series of Doctor Who and towards the end of that you have to consider if you're going to push onto another one. So the honest answer is I don't know. We'll keep him as long as we can is the absolute truth and he hasn't made up his mind yet.' Coleman won her part on the show after impressing producers with her chemistry with Smith. Moffat said that the actress, who will appear in ITV's big-budget drama Titanic on Sunday, and has previously appeared in Emmerdale and Waterloo Road, was the only person he'd met who could go faster than Smith. 'There was a moment I remember when they were auditioning together and they both look frightened doing a Doctor Who scene, it was an instant poster and I thought "God that's brilliant,"' Moffat said. Coleman, who is from Blackpool, said that she hopes she is prepared for the huge interest which surrounds the show and the pressures that brings but is currently trying to focus on the job in hand. 'What I feel really comfortable with is the meetings that I've had with Matt and how much fun we had,' she said. 'That is what I'm focusing on and why I can't wait to get on set, and read all the scripts and just start doing my job really,' she said. 'So I think I'm trying not to really look at those pressures and just be excited about the job in itself.' The actress said that she found out she'd got the job while she was in a Marks and Spencer's buying the ingredients for a salad. 'I was holding an avocado,' she laughed. 'I put my basket down and left. But I couldn't tell anyone so I went for a bit of a walk and tried to digest. It was really quite surreal.' 'It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She's funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS,' Moffat added. 'It's not often The Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it's about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that's all you're getting for now. Who she's playing, how The Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy-meets-girl.' Moffat revealed that current stars Gillan and Darvill will exit the drama following a final encounter with The Weeping Angels. It has also been revealed that The Daleks will return during the first part of the seventh season.

Moffat was also asked to comment on the CBS Sherlock Holmes pilot Elementary. The project, which will transpose Conan Doyle's detective to present-day New York, has been compared to Moffat's BBC drama Sherlock. 'They approached us to remake our show,' Moffat said. 'We said "no" and they just decided to make one anyway,' he told journalists at a press conference. He added: 'I'll just leave you to speculate on what I think about that!' However, Moffat reiterated that Elementary is not officially considered a remake of Sherlock. 'That's not a re-version of our show, they just decided to make one,' he said. The writer also joked that a US remake of Doctor Who would be 'blasphemy'. 'It wouldn't be up to me, because the BBC owns Doctor Who and not me, but I don't think it would be a good idea,' he explained. 'There's only one Doctor and Doctor Who is a hit over there already, so no, I wouldn't like that personally.'
Former News International chief executive and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks has faced further police questioning after answering bail. The forty three-year-old was questioned at Milton Keynes police station by officers from Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police said. She was re-bailed to return to a London police station in May. Operation Elveden is the Met's investigation into corrupt payments to police officers and other officials. Brooks was last arrested on 13 March on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice as part of Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into phone-hacking. Five men were also detained, including Brooks's husband, Charlie, a racehourse trainer. Mrs Brooks was first arrested last July on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and corruption, before being released on police bail. The former Sun editor had resigned from her job at News International days earlier. A total of twenty two people have been arrested under Weeting, which has been running since January last year, Scotland Yard said.

The battle between Simon Cowell's 'shiny floor franchises' – The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent – and the BBC's new pretender on the block, The Voice has hit a new low, reports the Sun. they claim that crazed-megalomaniac Cowell has 'banned' David Walliams – a judge on BGT which launches this weekend – from going to see The Voice. The newspaper claims that Walliams was keen to attend one of the live shows of The Voice with his mother, as 'he likes that sort of thing' and often attends Strictly Come Dancing. 'Simon is gunning for The Voice,' an alleged 'source' allegedly said.

Dara O Briain is to present this year's BAFTA TV awards – taking over from Graham Norton. He said: 'I'm delighted and honoured to be taking the reins at this year's British Academy Television Awards, in the prestigious role as the person who introduces the people who read out the winners of the awards. 'And, if Adele wins anything, I promise I'll leave her well alone, no matter what time it is.' The ceremony takes place on Sunday 27 May at London’s Royal Festival Hall and is broadcast on BBC1. Norton has stepped aside this year as he will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, in Baku, Azerbaijan, the night before. The BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning said: 'We know Dara will do a magnificent job in Graham's absence.'

Wallace and Gromit will continue to be made in the UK, George Osborne claimed in his budget speech, as he unveiled a film industry-style tax break to encourage development in the animation and video game sectors and seemed to be implying he was, single-handedly saving the British film industry. The chancellor's financial incentive will also apply to high-cost dramas, such as Titanic and Downton Abbey by his Tory chum Lord Snooty. Osborne told the Commons it was the policy of the government to keep Wallace and Gromit exactly where they are – a comment that prompted cheers from coalition benches as it was also a dig at Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is sometimes likened to Wallace, the cheese-loving plasticine hero. Yeah, actually, he does look a bit like him. And sounds a bit like Donald Duck, too. Not his fault, of course, a chap can't help what he was born with. Anyway, Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based independent producer of Wallace and Gromit, has along with other animators been calling for the Treasury to give a tax relief to support UK production, at an estimated direct cost to the exchequer of seventeen million quid a year. Animation is a three hundred million smackers-a-year industry that employs four thousand seven hundred people directly. Miles Bullough, Aardman's head of broadcast and development, who previously said the firm could be forced to leave the UK to cut costs, said the tax credit would be 'transformational' for the industry. He said: 'We have seen a dramatic decline on UK television of home-produced animation and we now have a shot a reversing that trend. The credit will create thousands of UK jobs and our research shows that there will be a long-term financial gain for the UK.' British animation has been in decline in recent years as other countries have offered generous subsidies for cartoonists to move abroad, with Bob the Builder now produced in the US, Thomas the Tank Engine in Canada and Noddy in Ireland. The industry believes the result is British pre-school children now see largely foreign-made content. Details of the new tax break remain sketchy, with Osborne only announcing 'an intention' to proceed, subject to obtaining state-aid approval from the European commission and a consultation. But the tax breaks are expected to operate on similar lines to film, in which projects filmed in the UK qualify for a twenty or twenty five per cent break depending on the production budget. The video games industry employs about nine thousand people in the UK, working in three hundred studios. But development jobs have been moving to locations such as Montreal in Canada, where tax incentives have helped slash the cost of developing games (which can cost up to fifty million quid). Games industry trade body UK Interactive Entertainment said that a games tax relief would create an estimated four thousand seven hundred direct and indirect jobs, and generate one hundred and eighty eight million knicker in investment by studios. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport said the break would create and protect sixteen hundred and fifty studio jobs and contribute two hundred and eighty million wonga to the GDP. An estimated three hundred and fifty million notes a year more would be spent in the UK as a result of the drama tax incentive, according to estimates on behalf of a group of drama producers. They argue that the economy would benefit to the tune of one billion smackers when taking into account the wider benefits from the greater employment and investment. Lord Snooty Julian Fellowes's million-quid-an-hour ITV drama Titanic, which starts on Sunday, was shot in Hungary because it was cheaper to build a replica of the ship in landlocked central Europe than film where the original liner was built, at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Andy Harries, chief executive of Left Bank Pictures, the producer of Wallander, said the tax relief would give British TV a much-needed shot in the arm. 'British production talent is responsible for some of the best TV in the world and at the moment many productions, which could very easily be shot in the UK, are being made abroad and many talented creatives are moving elsewhere. Left Bank Pictures are currently shooting two productions in South Africa – Mad Dogs and Strike Back – where tax breaks make it possible to make hugely ambitious dramas on a British TV budget, and we have many other large scale projects in development that we would love to be able to make in the UK. The proposed changes will also welcome productions from around the world to UK shores and, quite apart from the revenue that this will bring, it will also help support the creative community in the UK and help train the next generation of film and TV makers.' Glenn Whitehead of US cable network HBO said: 'Today's news on a new tax incentive has turned the UK from one of the most expensive options into a competitive and affordable location.'

The BBC has agreed a new television rights deal that will see it continue as the principle broadcaster of the Carnegie Challenge Cup for the next five years. Under the new agreement, egg chasing's oldest and most prestigious knockout competition will remain on the BBC until 2016. The BBC will also broadcast live matches in the fourth and fifth rounds of the competition, along with the quarter-finals and semi-finals for the duration of the contract. Which will, of course, be hugely welcomes in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Nobody else will much care. RFL chairman Richard Lewis said: 'The Challenge Cup has a rich heritage and I am delighted that the competition's long association with the BBC is to continue. The visibility and profile afforded by the sport's presence on the BBC and the BBC iPlayer is hugely important and we look forward to working with the BBC as they showcase all the excitement and drama from the Carnegie Challenge Cup and Stobart Super League.' BBC coverage of the 2011 Challenge Cup final between Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos was watched by an average television audience of 1.61m last year, up nineteen per cent on the 2010 final. Viewing figures for the new-look BBC Super League Show on BBC2 are also said to be 'already double' this year on the 2011 stats. The new Challenge Cup deal is a boon for the BBC after it lost the rights to major horse racing events including the Grand National and Ascot to Channel Four. The BBC has struggled to compete following a fifteen per cent cut to its budget for sports rights bidding. BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said: 'The BBC has been the proud broadcast partner of the Challenge Cup for over half a century so we're delighted to be continuing our long and successful relationship with the RFL. Rugby League forms a key part of the BBC's rights portfolio and through our new four-year deal we're look forward to ensuring this prestigious and fiercely contested tournament reaches an ever growing audience.' Or, in other words, we'd love to have football and cricket and more athletics and F1 but, we can't afford them, so you're getting rugby league instead. Expect the next BBC sports-relate announcement to be their acquisition of the world tiddlywinks championship. Commentated by Clare Blading and Brendan Foster.

Chris Hollins has made his final appearance on BBC Breakfast. The morning programme's sports correspondent appeared on the show for the last time, having originally joined in 2005. He told fellow hosts Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin: 'I'm actually very touched, my first OB was in the Isle of Wight. It all went wrong, I should have known then what was going to happen in the next seven years.' He joked: 'I've gained a couple of chins over the past seven years.' Yes, mate. We'd noticed. Talking about his favourite moments on the show, he said: 'I've covered two fantastic World Cups, the one in Germany was amazing. Royal Ascot was my favourite part of the diary. Being on the sofa every morning has been brilliant. Thank you everyone at home, I'll be back for the Olympics.'

A 'Walk of Shame' advertising campaign run by retailer Harvey Nichols last year has been cleared by the UK's advertising regulator, despite complaints that it was offensive and 'reinforced negative stereotypes' about women. The advert, which ran just before Christmas 2011, showed several women dressed in evening wear and looking 'disheveled and uncomfortable' as they made their way home in the early morning after, apparently, a night of red-hot rampant shagging. It ended with a glamorous woman wearing a dress from Harvey Nichols confidently entering her house the morning after her night out. The advert also encouraged women to share their own stories via the 'walk of shame' Twitter hashtag. However, five complainants objected to the campaign, levelling various charges including that it was offensive, reinforced negative stereotypes about women who chose to have casual sex, and even that it hinted at sexual violence as one woman featured had ripped tights. Another complaint criticised the campaign for suggesting that 'lower class women who had one-night stands should feel shame, whilst more wealthy women who behaved in the same way should feel proud.' Harvey Nicholas apologised for any offence caused by the advert, but insisted that the intention was to 'raise a smile' by reminding people of a 'familiar hazard' of the Christmas party season, involving waking up and having to make the journey home in the cold light of day. The retailer said that the term 'walk of shame' has become a popular phrase, but the advert was intended to show that women 'did not have any reason to be ashamed.' In terms of the casual sex claims, the company claimed that the women could just as likely have been returning home from a friend's house as from a one-night stand. It also said that the advert featured women of all sizes and social classes, and that the aim was to show that they could all do the 'Stride of Pride.' The advert has been watched seven hundred and twenty five thousand times on YouTube, said Harvey Nichols, receiving broadly positive feedback with over twelve hundred 'likes' and only two hundred and twenty 'dislikes.' Google, the owner of YouTube, said that it was 'unfortunate' some people had been offended by the video, but said that it did not breach its advertising policies. In its ruling, the ASA noted the arguments put forward by Harvey Nichols, but said that it, like the complainants, thought the term 'walk of shame' referred to an early morning journey after a one-night stand. The regulator therefore said that referencing walk of shame in the advert would imply that the women had casual sex the previous night. But it also noted that the content of the advert did not appear to reinforce negative stereotypes about women in general, or those who chose to have casual sex. 'We understood one complainant believed the ad was offensive because the scene of a woman wearing ripped tights implied sexual violence,' said the ASA. 'However, we considered the majority of viewers would not interpret the scene in that way, because ripped or laddered tights were common in everyday situations. We noted the ad depicted women of a range of sizes and in a variety of dress styles. We also noted they were shown in a range of locations and situations which did not necessarily suggest they belonged to a specific social class or had a certain level of wealth. We therefore considered the ad did not imply that lower class women who had one-night stands should feel shame whilst more wealthy women should feel proud, or that it mocked less wealthy women who did not have "model" figures.' The watchdog added: 'We acknowledged that some people might find the theme of the ad distasteful, but we concluded that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.' And, once again, let us just stand back and marvel at the utter shite that some people chose to care about.

Fabrice Muamba was 'in effect, dead' for seventy eight minutes following his on-field collapse, the Bolton Wanderers club doctor Jonathan Tobin has revealed. Doctors say it is still too early to predict whether he will ever play football again. But Tobin said that he is 'amazed' by the twenty three-year-old's recovery so far. In an emotional interview, Tobin said: 'It was forty eight minutes [from] when he collapsed to reaching hospital and a further thirty minutes after that. He was, in effect, dead at that time.' He added: 'We were fearing the worst and didn't think we would get the recovery we had. It's incredible.' Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in Wanderers' FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last Saturday. Tobin told BBC Sport's Dan Roan how Bolton physio Andy Mitchell was the first to spot the player had collapsed. The doctor recalled: 'He screamed, "Get on the pitch, get on the pitch." It was obvious something major was happening.' Tobin said Muamba was given two defibrillator shocks on the pitch, one in the players' tunnel and a further twelve in the ambulance on the way to hospital but none had worked. The doctor said it was only when medics at London Chest Hospital took over that the situation began to sink in. He added: 'I went into the corridor and cried. This is Fabrice, not someone who has gone down in the street. I know him, know his family, joke with him every day.' Tottenham's club doctor Shabaaz Mughal was among those who rushed to Muamba's aid. He said: 'He appeared to take a couple of gasps but was then unresponsive.' The pair were further helped by Andrew Deaner, Consultant Cardiologist at London Chest Hospital, who was at the game as a fan, and ran on to the pitch to loan his expertise. He said: 'As soon as I saw them start CPR, something twitched in me. You always hope that, if you have a defibrillator and get there quickly, they will respond to at least two or three shocks. The longer the resuscitation, the less the chances of survival. But this is a very fit twenty three-year-old and those attending him are trained in CPR. If I was ever going to use the term miraculous it could be used here. He has made a remarkable recovery so far. Two hours after [regaining consciousness] I whispered in his ear, "What's your name?" and he said, "Fabrice Muamba." I said, "I hear you're a really good footballer" and he said, "I try." I had a tear in my eye.' The consultant added: 'We don't want to get ahead of ourselves but, as things stand, his life is not in danger at this time. It is early days so it is not possible to say [if he will play again].' Sam Mohiddin, the Consultant Cardiologist now looking after Muamba, said: 'Fabrice has continued to demonstrate positive signs of recovery. His outcome has been extraordinary as a result of extraordinary care. He has exceeded our expectations but this remains very early in what could be a very lengthy recovery period. The critical thing was the rapid, prompt and very effective CPR at White Hart Lane and expertise from the London ambulance service. Normal life is within the spectrum of possibility.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's something - quite literally - way out from The La's.

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