Friday, March 16, 2012

MasterChef: My Final Bellyache

In the least surprising climax to a series of MasterChef since, well, since the last one, actually Shelina Permalloo has been crowned MasterChef champion for 2012. And, despite her occasional scowling boat-race whenever anyone has dared to criticise her food she's clearly a major talent and a worthy winner. If for no other reason than this result is likely to have severely pissed off the racist shitebag louse who attempted to infect this blog yesterday with their racist shitebaggery, this was a good thing. After a formidable eight-week competition, the search for the country's best amateur cook reached its climax as the twenty nine-year-old from Southampton beat fellow finalists Andrew Kojima and Tom Rennolds to become only the second female winner in eight years. On her win, Shelina said: 'I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I never thought it was going to be me that would win, the guys [Tom and Andrew] were so amazing and I just never thought it could happen to me. I am so happy and pleased that I was able to win by staying true to my roots. I am proud to have made my family proud and to support Mauritians as well. I think if my dad was around he would have been the proudest person ever.' John Torode said: 'What Shelina has done throughout this competition is outstanding. She is a very special cook with an exceptional talent who always wears a smile and cooks with care, to assault the senses and bring sunshine to a plate.' Gregg Wallace added: 'If ever there was a restaurant that had to happen it is Shelina's because her food is incredible. You can't find it in very many places; you can't really find it outside of Mauritius. I agree, she really does put sunshine on a plate.' The final task saw contestants prepare a three-course meal for Torode and Wallace. Shelina will next appear at the BBC Good Food Show at the Glow, Bluewater from 12-15 April. Of the live show, she added: 'I'm really excited and equally nervous to be cooking live alongside some incredible chefs like Tim Anderson and Lisa Faulkner at the launch of BBC Good Food. It will be incredible to be in the same space as these guys!' Talking about her toughest moment during the series, she said: 'I think every challenge was tough but the best thing was how much you learn at the end of it. Thailand was probably the most physically exhausting because of the heat and the sheer amount of arm power needed to pound those pastes! Cooking for royalty in Thailand was an incredible experience, I doubt I'll ever have the honour of cooking for royalty again, seriously a once in a lifetime opportunity.' On her future career, she added: 'I dream of opening a restaurant one day, raising the profile of Mauritian food in the UK, and be working with, and surrounded by, food.'

The MasterChef final had an average overnight audience of 5.6m according to early figures. it comprehensively beat its ITV opposition, the opening episode of the three-part drama Love Life which was watched by 3.9m. The other big ratings story of Thursday was the peak audience of 2.4m watching Sian Williams departure from BBC Breakfast. And, there was barely a dry-eye in the house.

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has admitted that he was surprised t the reaction to the show's second series. The BBC detective drama's most recent run showed Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) appear to plummet to his death, only to later reappear unharmed. 'I've never known something become such a public talking point,' Gatiss, who also plays Mycroft told the Gruniad. The popular actor and writer promised that the eventual reveal of how Sherlock survived would be 'worth the wait. There's some very clever theories, some of them elaborate, and I enjoy them all,' he said. 'But if I were to tell you if someone had worked it out then it wouldn't be a secret.' Asked if any of the fan theories were correct, he added: 'It may be, sort of, in some of the theories. There's a lot of very clever people out there.'

Gillian Anderson has revealed that she turned down a role in Downton Abbey. The X-Files star actress claimed that she was offered the role of Lady Cora Crawley - eventually played by Elizabeth McGovern - in the ITV period drama, according to TV Guide. Anderson - seen in a not-especially-ladylike pose to the right - has appeared in a number of other period dramas, including the BBC's Bleak House and last year's adaptation of Great Expectations, which will be broadcast in the US on PBS from 1 April. A third series of Downton Abbey is currently filming and is expected to be shown in late 2012 on ITV and in January 2013 on America. It was recently reported that stars Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Siobhan Finneran and Jessica Brown Findlay may not appear beyond the third run. Hugh Bonneville has also denied rumours that a film version of Downton is in the works.

Life may well, and very satisfyingly, be too short for a recommission of odious Ricky Gervais' most recent BBC2 comedy. Life's Too Short about a dwarf, struggled to win viewers and left the comedian with a rare flop on his hands. BBC bosses will meet with Gervais and his comedy partner Stephen Merchant within the 'next few weeks' to decide whether to recommission the, if you will, mockumentary, which starred Warwick Davis (who was just about the only good thing in this colossal waste of time and talent). Life's Too Short finished a seven-part run on BBC2 in December. It began with two and a half million viewers but finished with just 1.2 million across BBC2 and BBC HD, far below the audiences who watched Extras and The Office. The speculation would appear to contradict claims from the odious, full-of-his-own-importance Gervais on Twitter in December that the BBC had already recommissioned a second run to be broadcast 'in spring 2013.' However the chances of a full series were also dealt a blow by a more recent post on Gervais' blog in which he wrote: 'We are thinking of going straight to the Xmas Special. Lazier and lazier. Now it's down to one series and a special.' A BBC spokeswoman said that Gervais and Merchant will meet BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow, controller of comedy commissioning Cheryl Taylor and the head of BBC in-house comedy Mark Freeland 'within the next few weeks' to decide whether to give another run to the show. Gervais's own spokeswoman claimed that Gervais and Merchant will have a separate meeting with HBO executives who will also decide whether to recommission it. HBO co-produced series one and has the US rights to the comedy. If a second series is not commissioned it would be the first time the alleged comedian has had his work restricted to a one-series run. Life's Too Short divided audiences and critics when it was shown last November. Among those disliking the show were the Independent's Robert Epstein who said 'even if you don't find its content degrading, it is simply shoddily derivative.' And, yer actual Keith Telly Topping who thought it was about as funny as an itchy scrotum. Gervais's spokeswoman told the Gruniad Morning Star that the BBC and HBO will decide whether to recommission: 'I've spoken to Ricky. He and Stephen are getting on with working out what the next instalment of Life's Too Short will be. At the moment they are working through ideas and writing, so the BBC are waiting for Ricky and Stephen to confirm next steps.' A BBC spokeswoman said that the series was 'not immediately recommissioned' because 'the comedy writers were unavailable.' Well, yeah, Merchant's so busy doing voice-overs on those sodding annoying banking adverts for ITV, isn't he? She claimed: 'By the time the series ended, Stephen was touring his stand up and Ricky was in the States. Until they are both around no decision will be made.'

Simon Cowell has reportedly promised that this year's Britain's Got Talent will have a 'cooler' line-up of contestants than previous series. Insert your own punchline here.

Paul McGann has insisted that he would return to Doctor Who if asked. The actor - who played the Time Lord in a 1996 TV movie, and was really very good indeed in it - told the Digital Spy website that he would 'love' to reappear on the show. 'Being [The Doctor], there's always anniversaries looming large - celebration programmes and episodes,' he said. 'I'm often asked, "If they get five Doctors together, would you do it?" and of course, I'd do it. They've just got to ring me up!' McGann added that he is 'still in the Doctor Who loop. Although I was [in] Doctor Who for six weeks, sixteen years ago, it never goes away - it only ever seems to get stronger,' he suggested. 'I'd love to do that again, but that's not up to me.' The BBC's popular long-running SF family drama's current star Matt Smith previously admitted that he would like to appear opposite McGann. 'Paul McGann is a great actor and a great Doctor,' he said. 'I say bring back Chris [Eccleston] and Dave [Tennant], too! How many Doctors can we get into one story? Imagine if there were five or six of us in one episode and we could all just look at each other and judge each other.' Yeah. It's been done, Matt.

Former EastEnders actress Laurie Brett, who played Jane Beale in the BBC1 soap, is to join the cast of school drama Waterloo Road. Brett will join the cast of BBC1's award-winning drama Waterloo Road when the eighth series relocates to Scotland to start filming next month. Made by Shed Productions, the popular drama is currently on-screen for its seventh series - the last to be shot in its former Rochdale home. Hamilton-born Laurie stars in the forthcoming eighth series of Waterloo Road as Christine Mulgrew, who joins the English department as one of the new teachers appointed by headmaster Michael Byrne (played by Alec Newman) when he sets up a new school in Scotland. Ahead of her move to Scotland, Laurie will dust off her dancing shoes and team up with fellow EastEnder Tameka Empson to give a unique performance of 'Telephone' - as Lady Gaga and Beyonce. The pair will compete for glory in the Let's Dance For Sport Relief final on Saturday 17 March on BBC1.

Odious, risible, unfunny, full-of-its-own-cleverness A League of Their Own will return to Sky1 for a fifth series. Unfunny, risible James Corden will continue to host the sports quiz, alongside team captains Jamie Redknapp and Freddie Flintoff. Alleged comedian, the vile Jack Whitehall will also join the show as a regular panellist for the new run. Just one more reason not to watch it, dear blog reader. Very popular with students is yer actual Whitehall. Which, given the shocking state of education in this country at the moment, probably says a hell of a lot. This blogger would really like to congratulate whoever is behind this format, however. A classic example of taking just about everything that yer actual Keith Telly Topping loathes and stick it all in the same place. And then, at least, having the decency to warn me about it beforehand so I can avoid it. Well done. Jolly well done. And, by the way, you might want to tell Whitehall to tuck his bloofy shirt in, he looks like a tramp. And get a haircut.

Des O'Connor will be honoured in a television special to mark his eightieth birthday. The presenter and singer, who launched his showbiz career in the 1950s and spend much of the 1960s and 70s as the butt of a thousand Morecambe and Wise jokes will host the ninety-minute show on ITV later this year after celebrating the landmark birthday in January. O'Connor's former chat show co-host Melanie Sykes will make a special appearance in The One and Only Des O'Connor. Other celebrity guests on the show will include Little Britain's Matt Lucas, comedian Paul O'Grady, former Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly and My Family star Robert Lindsay. O'Connor said of the one-off episode: 'I am really looking forward to sharing a fun-filled ninety minutes with the viewers.' ITV's controller of entertainment John Kaye Cooper added: 'He has a great history with the channel and, along with some special guests, it will be an unmissable show.'

Chat show host, celebrity gardener and twat Alan Titchmarsh has warned against Britain's technology-reliant culture, saying that if we don't get more hands on with nature there is little hope for our future. Could one, therefore, suggest that the odious, full-of-his-own-important Titchmarsh get himself off television - a significant part of Britain's technology-reliant culture - and back to nature so that I don't have to suffer his effing awful smug boat-race on my screens every single day. See, everybody wins.

Holly Willoughby has been confirmed as the host of a revamped special one-off edition of Surprise Surprise. So, let yer actual Keith Telly Topping ask this question before anyone else does. Has anybody at ITV got any original ideas in their collective head whatsoever or is that just a stupid notion? Originally hosted by Cilla Black, the show infamously created tearful surprises and family reunions for guests and the new special promises to 'make some dreams of a lifetime come true.' Sort of like John Barrowman's Tonight's The Night only with less sequins. 'What an incredible honour to be asked to present this Surprise Surprise special for ITV. I can't wait to get out there delivering new surprises to the nation,' said Willoughby. Executive Producer Michael Kelpie added: 'Surprise Surprise is one of those iconic ITV shows that I remember watching with my family growing up and the chance of bringing it back is a dream come true.' Producers are currently searching the country for people to appear in the series and want to hear from anyone who would like to nominate a member of the community for a 'Willoughby surprise.' Please sir, can I nominate somebody with a large piece of two-by-four behind the door, sir? The original LWT production of Surprise Surprise was broadcast between 1984 and 1997.

Alan Carr is reported to be writing himself a sitcom to star in. The Chatty Man host says he is 'a huge fan' of the genre, and has been making himself laugh while working on the new scripts. He allegedly told the Daily Lies: 'I'm writing a sitcommy thing. I'm not saying too much because you might not think it's funny but I am laughing out loud all the time. Let's see what happens. I do like writing jokes. I don't see why I shouldn't write a sitcom. I’m a huge fan of them.' Carr reportedly says that he has been inspired by Rising Damp, adding: 'I'd like to be a Rigsby character. I'd love to be the lusty landlord with a tenant underneath me. In fact, I'd love quite a few nice-looking tenants beneath me actually!' Fnaar, fnaar.
A high court witness statement by a former Times journalist has been described as 'utterly misleading' and 'not accurate' by Lord Justice Leveson in one of the most tense sessions since his inquiry into press ethics opened in November. The inquiry heard how journalist Patrick Foster had confessed to the paper's legal manager, Alastair Brett, that he had established the identity of the anonymous Nightjack police blogger, Richard Horton, after he had hacked into his e-mail account. Brett, giving evidence to Leveson, recalled how furious he was when Foster confided that he had potentially broken the law to find out the blogger's name. The air was 'blue' with expletives and he warned him he could lose his job if he ever hacked into an e-mail account again. But although it breached some statute, Brett thought it might have a defence. Leveson piled the pressure on Brett, who had worked for The Times for thirty three years and whom he described as a 'highly reputable lawyer' working for a 'highly reputable newspaper.' He questioned why the admission of hacking had been excluded from Foster's statement submitted to the high court when The Times sought to overturn an injunction Horton had won preventing the publication of his name. The inquiry was shown Foster's statement from 2009. Leveson put it to Brett that a part of the statement was 'not accurate,' to which Brett replied: 'It is not entirely accurate.' Which is the sort of thing people usually go to jail for isn't it? When Brett objected that the judge was being 'very precise' in his questioning, Leveson became visibly angry. 'I am being precise because this is a statement being submitted to a court, Mr Brett,' he interjected before moving to paragraph twenty of Foster's statement, which described how, after some research, he came to a point where 'I felt sure that the blog was written by a real police officer.' Leveson put it to Brett: 'That is utterly misleading isn't it?,' to which the former Times lawyer replied that it 'certainly doesn't give the full story.' A sin of omission is still a sin nonetheless. The judge said that he could cite 'two or three other examples, but I've had enough.' Earlier this year, the inquiry heard how Foster, twenty four at the time, had hacked into the e-mail account in 2009. The Times successfully fought an injunction at the high court to reveal Horton was behind the Nightjack blog, but told Mr Justice Eady it had done so by piecing together information in the public domain. James Harding, the editor of the paper, claimed that he had been 'kept in the dark' about the court action and told Leveson: 'On behalf of the paper, I apologise.' Leveson said that he was concerned the 'closeness of that relationship' between a lawyer and a paper over a 'very, very long time' may have led to a 'blindness' which 'impacted on the practices of the press' and perhaps The Times felt it could justify any route to get the story, provided that, in the end, it was true. Brett denied he had adopted a 'the end justifies the means' stance and claimed he was 'sure' Harding did not know about the hacking initially. Leveson put it to Brett that, rather than submit a misleading witness statement, he could have gone to court saying 'I am not prepared to say how I learnt [sic] DC Horton's name.' The Times issued a statement saying Brett's testimony 'was a painful reminder of an occasion when The Times's conduct failed to meet the high standards expected of this newspaper.' It added that the 'handling of the Nightjack case was deeply unsatisfactory' and News International had 'since changed governance and compliance procedures.' But, only after several years of denials and after forty current and former members of its staff had been arrested for one thing or another. Just, you know, for a bit of balance.

Charlotte Church's libel action in relation to a story in the People that she drunkenly proposed to her boyfriend can be heard after Mirra Group Newspapers failed in a high court application to get her case struck out. The newspaper publisher had accepted that the story, published on page three of the risible Sunday tabloid on 6 November last year was 'entirely false' but told the high court that it was 'not libellous' to say someone had a drink in public or to propose marriage in public. David Sherborne, counsel for Church, said that the article, headlined Marryoke, had claimed Church made the proposal to her boyfriend in a karaoke bar in Cardiff, when in fact the couple were miles away that night in a different town giving a concert. The article had not only said she had drunkenly made the proposal, but she was in 'such a state that she to be physically helped out of the pub.' It also quoted someone - who, since the story was entirely false would appear to have been invented by the alleged journalist who wrote this piece of lies - saying 'we helped her to the taxi afterwards,' Sherborne said. He added the story was 'nonsense' and damaging to Church, who is a mother of two, and he argued 'the affect, impact on the claimant is not trivial. She is a twenty six-year-old mother of two children and a professional singer. This was not a positive story about Charlotte Church that message that is clearly conveyed to the reader, and the meaning that he or she could take, [was] that in proposing to her boyfriend she made a very public and embarrassing spectacle of herself,' Sherborne told the court. Mark Warby, QC for MGN, admitted that the article was entirely false but, brazenly tried to claim that this little fact was 'irrelevant' and the meaning of the words used could not be taken as defaming. 'In short this article says she happened to get drunk one night, but that's doesn't make it defamatory.' Though, the fact that she, in fact, wasn't, would appear to make it a lie. Nor was it 'defamatory to make a proposal of marriage in public.' In a reserved judgment, Justice Tugendhat ruled that the words 'are capable of bearing the meaning attributed to them in the particulars of claim and that is capable of being defamatory.'

Almost half of people aged under the age of thirty five claim to have commented to others via online or text message while watching a TV programme, in an emerging trend called 'chatterboxing.' According to the Telescope 2012 study by the BBC's TV Licensing organisation, the rise of 'two-screen' viewing of TV shows, in which people use a laptop, smartphone or tablet while also watching programmes, is changing habits around television consumption. One in four adults - twenty six per cent - said that they have commented to others via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, online forums or SMS about a TV programme they were watching, but this increases to just under half among people under thirty five. Rather than dilute the importance of live TV viewing, this trend of 'chatterboxing' has actually done the opposite, claims the report. An ICM poll found that twenty four per cent of people aged under thirty five watch a programme live rather than on catch-up because they enjoy the social media chatter, while nineteen per cent do so because they were worried about 'social media spoilers.' In positive news for Channel Four's new 'social buzz'-driven catch up TV channel FourSeven, the report found that social media is also driving people's TV viewing. One in six respondents aged under thirty five said that they can be persuaded to watch a programme if they see online chatter about it. Psychologist Corinne Sweet said that 'chatterboxing' taps into people's desire to share emotional experiences around television with others, even when they are on their own. 'Wanting to communicate with others when you experience emotions such as sadness, entertainment, fear or awe is a part of the human condition,' she said. Followed, presumably, by 'blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...' What a right load of old effing toot. 'As television often prompts these feelings, it is not surprising that more of us are taking advantage of evolving technology to share our thoughts as we watch TV, even if we are home alone.' Twitter UK spokesperson Rachel Bremer added: 'People come to Twitter to connect with what they are most interested in, and that may be a TV show, character, or live event. The public nature of the platform means that people can easily follow and join conversations about what they're watching in real time, adding to the social experience of television viewing.' The TeleScope survey found that people in Britain consume twenty eight hours of television every week, of which two and a half hours is via catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD on the television set. TV fans are also topping this up by spending on average three hours per week watching programmes on smaller screens, including laptops, smartphones and tablets, according to ICM polls. In total, this adds up to thirty one hours per week, or more than two months of TV per year. One in four people said that they have watched TV 'on the go' via services such as iPlayer and Sky Go. For the London Olympics this summer, eighty eight per cent of respondents plan to watch the action on a TV set, while seven per cent will catch the action on a PC or laptop, but only one per cent respectively expect to watch on smartphones and tablets. Live TV remains dominant, but timeshifted viewing via catch-up services or personal video recorders now accounts for 9.2 per cent of all UK TV consumption, up from 7.1 per cent in 2010. Alongside virtual gatherings around programmes, TV is also bringing people together physically, as a third of adults under thirty five have had 'a TV-themed party' in the last five years, including popular themes of The X-Factor, the World Cup in 2010, the Royal Wedding and Eurovision. BBC TV licensing head of revenue management Pipa Doubtfire said: 'This year's TeleScope report points to the fact that people are taking advantage of new technologies to ensure they can enjoy TV in more ways than ever before, whether watching on bigger sets at home, via mobile technologies on the go, or on catch-up. And, of course, the chatterboxing phenomenon is bringing a new dimension to TV as a collective, social experience.' Iain Logie Baird, the grandson of TV inventor John Logie Baird and curator at the National Media Museum in Bradford, said that few would have imagined the shape of modern TV viewing when his grandfather introduced the first practical set in 1926. 'Television continues to hold our attention for two reasons. Firstly because of the quality and choice of content. Secondly because a huge range of interfaces have evolved to suit every taste and lifestyle,' he said. 'We can easily control how and when we watch TV by creating our own TV schedules from the abundance of content available, or tuning in on-the-go via a mobile device. We have more choice than ever before, and each person, family or household has the opportunity to mould their television experience according to their personal preference.'

Former Prime Minister, horrorshow (and drag) Margaret Thatcher was told a senior Merseyside police officer blamed 'drunken Liverpool fans' for causing the Hillsborough disaster, confidential government papers have revealed. The BBC claims to have seen 'leaked' documents about Britain's worst sports-related tragedy. Ninety-six football fans died after a crush on overcrowded terraces at an FA Cup Semi-Final in April 1989. The subsequent official inquiry said that the disaster was caused by a catastrophic failure in crowd control by South Yorkshire Police. Letters to and from Downing Street and cabinet minutes that show what Thatcher was discussing and being told behind the scenes have been made public for the first time by BBC Radio 4's The World at One. For years, the families of those who died have been calling for the release of all government and police papers relating to the disaster. The government has now agreed that this will happen. The Hillsborough Independent Panel, set up in 2009, is reviewing hundreds of documents but they are not expected to be made available to the families of those who died or to the wider public until later this year. It is thought there will be thousands of pages to sift through. The most controversial issue in the papers that the BBC has seen relates to what Thatcher was being told about the views of some senior members of the Merseyside Police Force. They are contained in a letter sent to the Prime Minister from a member of her policy unit in Downing Street. Four days after the disaster, the adviser attended a long planned meeting with the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, the late Sir Kenneth Oxford, and some of his senior colleagues. It is important to bear in mind that this was written just days after the Hillsborough disaster and the views of the chief constable and those of his senior officers may have changed over the subsequent weeks. Although the the steady diet of lies they were being fed by, for instance, the Sun - whose notorious The Truth article which made wholly unsubstantiated claims about the events the newspaper, eventually, accepted was a load of lies and bollocks - one rather doubts it. According to the letter, the Merseyside chief constable said: 'A key factor in causing the disaster was the fact that large numbers of Liverpool fans had turned up without tickets. This was getting lost sight of in attempts to blame the police, the football authorities, et cetera.' The Prime Minister was informed that 'a senior member' of the Merseyside Police directly blamed supporters: 'One officer, born and bred in Liverpool, said that he was deeply ashamed to say that it was drunken Liverpool fans who had caused this disaster, just as they had caused the deaths at Heysel.' This mysterious - and quite probably fictitious - officer is not named. Margaret Aspinall, whose teenage son James died in the Hillsborough disaster, described the comments made by the unnamed senior officer as appalling and offensive. 'We knew things were going on behind closed doors, we've always known that. It doesn't surprise me in a sense but I'm surprised by the content,' the chairwoman of the Hillsborough Families Support Group said of the briefings. More of the views of the chief constable are also referred to in the files: 'He deplored the press's morbid concentration on pictures of bodies. He was also uneasy about the way in which Anfield was being turned into a shrine.' There is nothing in the documents the BBC has seen about any briefings from South Yorkshire Police. It is possible more will become known about that when many other confidential papers are officially released in a few months time. Andy Burnham, Labour MP for Leigh, Greater Manchester, who has campaigned for the Hillsborough families, said: 'The truth must be told and the people of Liverpool must have an apology for one of the biggest injustices of the Twentieth Century.' Other Downing Street papers seen by the BBC provide an insight into what the Prime Minister was saying and discussing with her cabinet colleagues in the days after Hillsborough. The main issue of discussion contained in these documents was the effect the disaster was going to have on controversial legislation aimed at 'controlling' the behaviour of football fans. The Football Spectators' Bill was already going through Parliament. The government was determined to continue with it, in order to introduce a national membership scheme for the sport. This would have brought in what were dubbed as identity cards for football fans. According to the conclusions of the first cabinet meeting to take place after the disaster, Thatcher told her ministers that the situation on crowd safety and hooliganism at football matches 'cried out for action.' The government wanted the legislation to be passed in time for the following year's World Cup finals in Italy - to reduce the prospect of crowd trouble. The meeting also discussed using it to bring in any interim recommendations from the Hillsborough Inquiry. In another meeting with senior cabinet colleagues which took place on the same day, the Prime Minister said: 'To abstain from taking action would be the gravest possible matter, now that the need for this action had been so conclusively demonstrated.' Five days later, Home Secretary Douglas Turd met the man conducting the official inquiry into Hillsborough, Lord Justice Taylor. A letter written by a civil servant at the Home Office says Turd told the judge about the government's proposed new timetable to get the football spectators' legislation passed by Parliament. He then asked Lord Justice Taylor what he would say if the government went ahead with this and then asked 'whether he was really quite sure that it was out of the question to form and express a view on the subject of membership cards in the three and a half months between the start of the inquiry and the end of August?' According to the letter, Lord Justice Taylor told Turd that 'this was possible, but he was not confident that it could be achieved.' He said that his priority was establishing the facts of what had happened at Hillsborough and he could not promise to come up with any recommendations on membership cards in time to fit in with the government's political schedule. The Prime Minister was told what had happened in a briefing note from her principal private secretary, who informed her: 'Lord Justice Taylor was distinctly unhelpful.' In the end, the government did press ahead with its plans and the law was passed. However, the following year, in his report, Lord Justice Taylor said he had 'grave doubts' about the feasibility of football membership cards and 'serious misgivings' about the scheme's likely impact on safety. As a result of his concerns, the government dropped the scheme and it was never implemented.

Ian Fleming's back catalogue of James Bond stories is to be relaunched after his estate signed a ten-year deal with Random House to publish the books in print and e-book format. Vintage, a division of Random House, will take over publishing of print books from Penguin. Which means that yer actual Keith Telly Topping now shares a publisher with Ian Fleming since Random House are also handling my e-books. Nice! That's one to break the ice at parties. The estate, which has been publishing e-books, said the deal was 'a significant step change' for the work. Fleming's fourteen Bond books have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published in 1953 by Vintage's sister imprint Jonathan Cape. 'We are delighted to be reuniting James Bond with his original publisher,' said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications. The twelve novels and two short story collections, will be relaunched this summer. Sales are likely to be boosted by the release, in October, of Daniel Craig's third 007 film Skyfall, which comes fifty years almost to the day after the first Bond movie, Dr No. Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and John Gardner are among authors who have written officially-sanctioned Bond novels since Fleming's death in 1964. The latest, Carte Blanche - written by thriller author Jeffery Deaver and released in May last year - updates the James Bond back story and portrays him as a Royal Naval Reserve veteran whose service included a tour of Afghanistan.

A weather forecaster in Los Angeles is suing CBS, claiming that he was passed over for two positions because he was not an 'attractive young female.' Ah well, that's showbusiness for yer, matey. I mean, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is fully aware that when my staggering looks start to go, pfft, I'm outta here as well. Kyle Hunter, who is described in legal documents obtained by Radar Online as a broadcaster with 'extraordinary academic and professional qualifications,' claims that he was passed over for vacancies at two local affiliates in California in favour of less experienced female candidates. Hunter's lawyer, Gloria Allred, told the publication: 'It is important because although most victims of gender discrimination are female, men such as Kyle Hunter can also be victims and they are also protected from sex and age discrimination under the law. Kyle has decided to proceed today because he is concerned not only about the denial of his employment opportunity, but also because he is worried about what he considers to be a trend in television news to hire young women as weather broadcasters in prime time while denying qualified male meteorologists the opportunity to be considered for those jobs.' Hunter's lawsuit alleges that he was not interviewed for a job at KCBS in Los Angeles, and he argues that he was 'far more qualified and far more experienced' than the woman hired for the position. But, less pretty. When his candidacy to fill a vacancy at KCAL was declined, Hunter also alleges that when he contacted a station manager for feedback, he was told: 'You wouldn't be the type [of person] men would want to look at.' The CBS stations named in the lawsuit have not yet commented on the case. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping merely notes, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. For it is written.

Sometimes, dear blog reader, the story of the day is just starring you slap-bang in the mush.
And, sometimes it isn't.

On Thursday night yer actual Keith Telly Topping attended Scunny Steve's latest Record Player event featuring OK Computer by The Radiohead Band. He did, actually, survive without resorting to the razor blade, however. In fact yer actual Keith Telly Topping found that he didn't remember the LP quite as well as he thought he did. But, still, it's those last three songs ('No Surprises', the sublime 'Lucky' and 'The Tourist') that turn it from being a good, weird, experimental LP into a genuinely great one. And yer actual Keith Telly Topping won the quiz for the first time (with its exciting prize of FIVE ENGLISH POUNDS, plus a really nice Best of Radiohead promo CD. So, that's going up on e-Bay shortly). So, yeah, thoroughly enjoyable evening, that. Well, as enjoyable as sitting listening to Tom Yorke for an hour can be! And, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, what else can we have but a song that yer actual Keith Telly Topping, for years, was convinced contained the - really rather attractive - chorus 'Lava lamps and no surprises.' This, dear blog reader, is what happens when five art-school boys don't include a sodding lyric sheet with their CD! Take it away chaps.
Actually, on reflection, I think I might be needing that razor blade after all.

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