Tuesday, March 06, 2012

She Takes All The Red, Yellow, Orange And Green And She Turns Them Into Black And White

Doctor Who's Karen Gillan has insisted that her forthcoming exit from the show will have 'a big impact.' Not least on the unemployment figures, the following Monday. The actress, who will depart the popular family SF drama midway through its seventh series, previously declared that she will not return in future for a cameo appearance. 'If I do something, I want to just do it,' she told Collider. 'I just feel that it's a stronger impact, and I like to go with my instincts because it's more exciting.' Kaz added that she did not want to know the circumstances of her character Amy's exit until it was absolutely necessary. 'I wanted to keep it a surprise, for as long as possible,' she explained. '[To help] keep the excitement in there.' The actress also praised Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) for writing such a 'strong female' in Amy. 'A lot of stuff is clearly written from a male perspective and the women aren't quite as fleshed out as the guys,' she suggested. 'Whereas this character is really well-written. I just hope I get to do more of that.' Gillan previously promised that she will leave the show 'on a high' in 'a damn good' storyline.

Meanwhile, one of Kaz's predecessors, Freema Agyeman, has proved there is life after leaving the TARDIS and joined the pilot for Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries. The former Doctor Who star will play Larissa, an 'easy-going party girl' who works at Interview magazine. The character will serve as a mentor for the young Carrie (played by AnnaSophia Robb), according to Deadline. Agyeman played Martha Jones on Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood between 2006 and 2010 and also currently appears in ITV's Law & Order: UK. Newcomer Brendan Dooling will also be in The Carrie Diaries as Walt, the title character's best friend. Likely gay but unable to come to terms with his sexuality, Walt has trouble fitting into mid-1980s society. Life Unexpected actor Austin Butler has also joined the pilot, alongside The Killing's Katie Findlay and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World star Ellen Wong. The Carrie Diaries is being developed by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who have previously collaborated on shows such as Gossip Girl, The OC and Hart of Dixie.

Ratings now, and the Top Thirty consolidated programme for week ending 26 February 2011:-
1 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 9.92m
2 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 9.11m
3 Emmerdale - ITV Mon - 7.87m*
4 Twatting About On Ice - ITV Sun - 7.80m
5 Benidorm - ITV Fri - 7.22m
6 Upstairs Downstairs - BBC1 Sun - 6.70m
7 Wild At Heart - ITV Sun - 6.62m*
8 The Diamond Queen - BBC1 Mon - 6.61m
9= Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 6.58m
9= Whitechapel - ITV Mon - 6.58m
9= Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 6.58m
12 The Brit Awards 2012 - ITV Tues - 6.33m
13 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 6.27m
14 Top Gear - BBC2/BBC HD Sun - 6.17m
15 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 6.10m
16 Match Of The Day: The League Cup Final - BBC1 Sun - 5.90m
17 Let's Dance For Sport Relief - BBC1 Sat - 5.81m
18 Six Nations Rugby: England Vs Wales - BBC1 Sat - 5.66m
19 Waterloo Road - BBC 1 Wed - 5.50m
20 MasterChef - BBC1 Wed - 5.39m
21 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - BBC1 Sat - 5.31m
22 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Mon - 5.19m
23 Take Me Out - ITV Sat - 5.15m*
24 Six O'Clock News - BBC 1 Mon - 5.14m
25 Big Fat Gypsy Weddings - Channel Four Tues - 5.03m
26 The ONE Show - BBC1 Mon - 4.99m
27 Rip-Off Britain - BBC1 Wed - 4.96m
28 Pointless Celebrities - BBC1 Sat - 4.95m
29 Kidnap And Ransom - ITV Thurs - 4.95m*
30 Prisoners' Wives - BBC1 Tues - 4.69m
Those shows with an asterisk do not include ITV HD figures.

The Strictly Come Dancing judges have reportedly demanded a pay rise because of the lucrative deals being given to the coaches on The Voice. The Sun claims that Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood have asked the BBC for a pay rise. According to reports they get ninety thousand smackers per series at present but the coaches on The Voice, which will launch shortly on BBC1, are said to be on a much higher fee. The Strictly judges therefore, the Sun claims, want a pay rise to take them in-line with the counter-parts.

Annabeth Gish has joined ABC's drama pilot Americana. The former X-Files and West Wing actress mostly recently seen playing a very naughty character in CSI will appear alongside Without a Trace star Anthony LaPaglia and Twilight's Ashley Greene. She will play a 'fading beauty' who is the mother of Greene's Alice, according to Deadline. Annabeth's other recent credits include a recurring role on Pretty Little Liars. Lost's Emilie De Ravin, Brothers & Sisters actor Ken Olin and The Descent's Natalie Mendoza are among the other names confirmed to appear in the Americana pilot. The script has been written by Michael Seitzman, with Salt's Phillip Noyce attached to direct. Other drama pilots picked up by ABC include a remake of Dutch series Penoza starring Luke Goss and an updated Beauty and the Beast starring Ruth Bradley and Darius Campbell. So, lots of new and original ideas there, then.

Jennifer Morrison has confirmed that she will not return to House for the show's finale which is due to be filmed shortly. The FOX medical drama, which stars Hugh Laurie, will conclude on 21 May after eight seasons. Morrison, who played Allison Cameron on the show from 2004 to 2010, told Entertainment Weekly: 'No-one's contacted me [about returning], and we're way too close for it to even be a possibility.' The actress, who currently stars in ABC's Once Upon a Time, added: 'It's a really special show and became an important part of television pop culture. I feel really lucky to have been a part of it.' Last year, Morrison had told the Digital Spy website she would 'love' to return to House for a guest appearance. 'I love Cameron and I'll always have an affection for [that character],' she said. 'So if I were given the opportunity to, of course I would.'

Karine Vanasse has joined Natalie Portman's new ABC drama pilot. The Canadian Pan Am actress will play an aspiring designer in fashion-based drama Scruples, according to Deadline. Her character, Valentine, recently arrived in New York from Paris. Vanasse will only be able to accept the role full-time if Pan Am is cancelled, something which still hasn't been confirmed although the ABC drama is not expected to get a second season. And the fact that one of the best things about it seems ready to jump ship doesn't exactly look like something one can spin positively. Portman will executive produce Scruples alongside Tony Krantz, whose mother Judith wrote the 1978 novel on which the project is based. The book charts the life of Wilhelmina Hunnewell Winthrop, a woman who decides to reinvent her image and open Beverly Hills clothing boutique, the titular Scruples. The Wonder Years writer Bob Brush will adapt Scruples for television, with Michael Sucsy directing. The book was previously filmed as a television mini-series for CBS in 1980, with Bionic Woman actress Lindsay Wagner as Wilhelmina.

Several Downton Abbey actors have yet to sign new contracts to remain with the ITV period drama beyond its third series it has been claimed. Production on the third series of Downton Abbey is currently underway and it will cover the early years of the 1920s. However, producers are already thinking beyond the third year; offering contracts for a fourth and fifth season - despite the fact ITV have yet to order them - to key cast members. According to reports actors such as Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Joanna Froggatt and Michelle Dockery have all signed new contracts. However, according to TVLine 'several high profile actors' have yet to sign contracts to remain beyond the third year. The entertainment news website specifically names Dan Stevens, Siobhan Finneran, Jessica Brown Findlay and Dame Maggie Smith. The fact that several of the actors - including Maggie Smith whose character is hugely popular with fans - is said to have 'panicked' producers who fear they might quit the drama. Creator Lord Snooty Julian Fellowes had previously stated he only had a three-year arc in mind when creating Downton Abbey which led to some speculation the third season would be its last.

Keith Allen has alleged that Channel Four was apprehensive over his interview with Nick Griffin which was finally broadcast this week. Allen claimed that the programme only went ahead after producer Victor Lewis-Smith called Channel Four's chief executive David Abraham 'a spineless cunt.' So, that's obviously a lesson for all aspiring programme-makers, there. Be as rude and unpleasant as possible to really important people in TV. They respect that. Allegedly. Writing in the Independent, the actor recalled: 'Having recorded and edited the Nick Griffin documentary, I discovered to my chagrin that the problems were only half over. Channel Four, which had been enthusiastic about the idea of me interviewing Griffin, was discomfited by the reality and repeatedly asked for changes and additional lines of didactic narration. When one commissioning editor completely misunderstood a sequence about Muslim women in which Griffin was unexpectedly defending them as victims of male violence, she gave such a knee-jerk reaction that I assumed she must have trained with Galvani. Eventually, after much patient explanation, Channel Four said it was pleased with the documentary, but it then sat on a shelf as summer turned to autumn and then to winter. Hence Victor's outburst of a month ago, as a result of which the programme will finally grace - or disgrace - your screen tonight.'

US TV network FOX has cancelled Stephen Spielberg drama Terra Nova after just one season. The big budget dinosaur series averaged 7.5 million viewers in the US but failed to do as well as hoped. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, FOX TV will now try to sell it to other networks. After the premiere was delayed twice, the series finally made it to air in September but got a lukewarm reception from some fans and critics. The final episode of the first series was shown on 19 December. The drama starred Jason O'Mara, Stephen Lang, Christine Adams and Shelley Conn. It was initially set in 2149, at a time when overpopulation and declining air quality threatens life on Earth. Scientists begin sending people eighty five million years into the planet's Cretaceous past. The drama focused primarily on the lives of the Shannon family as they joined the Terra Nova colony in the prehistoric past.

Media regulator Ofcom is alleged to be investigating ITV News after a presenter used the word 'coloured' in a report on racism in football last month. Which was a bit glakish and insensitive but, for Christ sake, have we got to The Spanish Inquisition stage yet? Nobody expects them, you know. Richard Pallot, an ITV News reporter, used the term - once a supposedly 'polite' way of describing black people without using the word black but these days, thanks to its association with vile South African apartheid, something of a no-no - whilst reporting on a racism in football summit at Downing Street in late February, attended by ex-player John Barnes and Prime Minister David Cameron. Ofcom intends to investigate whether ITV News 'broke broadcasting rules' covering the 'prevention of harm and offence to viewers,' along with 'maintaining generally accepted standards,' reports the Gruniad. Can this blogger ask that Ofcom also look into whether Take Me Out has broken any broadcasting rules covering the prevention of harm of offence to viewers. By existing. ITV News used its Twitter page to apologise for Pallot's use of the term, which was shown in the lunchtime bulletin. It also edited the comment out of all catch-up versions on ITV Player and the ITV News website. At the time, an ITV News spokesman said: 'ITV News apologises for the inappropriate use of the word "coloured" in a report on racism and football in today's news at 1.30pm. We take this error very seriously and we regret any offence caused.' However, Ofcom is likely to be concerned that the ITN-produced programme allowed the word to be included in a pre-recorded report, suggesting a problem with the compliance procedures around the news bulletin. If it has been said live, they might, just, have gotten away with it but that fact that Pallot used it in a pre-recorded piece and some middle-ranking executive back at the studio didn't spot it is, quite frankly, really worrying.
Documents have been discovered which apparently confirm police claims that at least some members of the Labour government were secretly briefed about the significance of the phone-hacking arrests at the Scum of the World in 2006, the Leveson inquiry has been told. Two Metropolitan police reports were sent to the Home Office on 9 August 2006, one of which was prepared for the then Home Secretary, John Reid, the inquiry heard when it resumed on Monday morning. This followed the police discovery that Labour cabinet ministers were having their voicemail messages targeted. Both Tessa Jowell and John Prescott, at the time the lack of culture secretary and the Deputy Prime Minister, respectively, were known to have been targets. One police report was handed over to Leveson over the weekend, and the second, written by Richard Riley, private secretary to the permanent secretary, 'prepared by a senior civil servant for the home secretary personally' was being sought. 'It's obviously very important,' Lord Justice Leveson told Neil Garnham QC, counsel representing the Met at the inquiry. The existence of the reports appears to clash with claims made by John Reid to the Gruniad at the weekend that he was 'never made aware' that Labour MPs were being targeted by the Scum of the World. He said on Friday evening: 'I can categorically say that I did not receive any briefing from the Met suggesting that there was widespread hacking including MPs and the deputy PM.' Clarke told the inquiry under oath on Thursday: 'I am absolutely clear in my mind that HM government was fully aware of this case at the time. I recall discussing the case with Dr John Reid, the then Home Secretary, shortly after Goodman and Mulcaire had been arrested. This was in the margins of a meeting about broader counter-terrorism issues. The Home Office had been informed of the arrests and the broad nature of the case that was alleged against Goodman and Mulcaire.' He was asked: 'Did you make is clear to [Reid] that although the investigation had clearly and conclusively implicated Goodman and Mulcaire, (a) the range of victims was far wider than the royal household and (b) that other journalists might well have been involved?' Clarke answered: 'I think it did. I don't remember the exact content of that discussion. I know that a briefing paper went from the Metropolitan police to the Home Office and that Dr Reid was aware of it and it was on the basis of that that he asked me some questions.' Asked about police failures to brief Prescott that he was a hacking target, Clarke testified: 'It wouldn't be for me to go direct to Lord Prescott. I discussed this with the then Home Secretary, Dr Reid. He was aware of the investigation.' Leveson also called on the police on Monday to find documentation about their dealings with Jowell. Sara Mansoori, the lawyer representing the 'core participant' victims, raised the issue on behalf of the former lack of culture secretary on Monday challenging police allegations that she had been 'unwilling' to sign a witness statement to assist with the prosecution of Scum of the World journalists. Jowell was the first cabinet minister whom it was discovered was a Scum of the World target, prior to the arrest of private detective Glenn Mulcaire on 8 August 2006. Leveson asked for records to be found of which senior police officer visited Jowell at the time, to discuss possible prosecutions.

The then commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Paul Stephenson, had dinner with the former deputy editor of the Scum of the World just hours after trying to persuade the Gruniad to drop its investigation into phone-hacking, it has emerged. Not that there is any suggestion that the two incidents were at all linked. Oh, no. Very hot water. No siree, Bob. Nothing to see here, move along quickly. The Leveson inquiry into press standards was told that Neil Wallis, who was by that time on the payroll of the Met as 'a public relations adviser,' was 'an acquaintance' of Stephenson. Wallis was later to be arrested for questioning in connection with the hacking scandal. The inquiry heard that Stephenson went on 10 December 2009 to see the Gruniad Morning Star's odious little gnome of an editor, specky Alan Rusbridger, after being briefed by the Assistant Commissioner, Champagne John Yates, that there was, allegedly, 'no new hacking evidence to investigate.' Something which, as it turns out, was about as true as the fact that the moon is made from cheese. Many people believed that the hacking allegations were 'politically motivated,' Stephenson said, although he acknowledged that he would have 'behaved differently' had he been 'properly briefed.' So, yet again, as with so much in this case, it's all 'someone else's fault for not telling me what was going on.' Sounds about right. After failing to dissuade Rusbridger to drop the case, Stephenson went to dine with Wallis, Yates and the Met's public relations chief, Dick Fiasco. The appointments diary recorded it as 'a private dinner,' which Stephenson said was held 'at a pub/restaurant that I frequented, socially.' The Gruniad said, with some considerable glee, that its editor was 'unaware' that Stephenson knew Wallis, that he was planning to dine with him that evening and that the Met were employing him at the time. Rusbridger subsequently wrote asking for an explanation of why he had not been told about the relationship when the commissioner had expressed his 'strong feeling' at the meeting that the Gruniad's reporting was 'over-egged and incorrect.' Which, of course, just to repeat, it wasn't. He never got a reply from Stephenson. Nothing, of course, highly suspicious or strange about that. he was a very busy made, what with all these business lunches he was attending. Asked whether he had been trying to persuade Rusbridger to drop the Gruniad's coverage, Stephenson told Leveson: 'No, I don't think I was.' But he agreed: 'There was very much a backcloth that this was about politics over substance.' He said: 'I was being briefed that there was "no good value" in expending additional police resources in opening this up.' Stephenson, who conceded he had not read the original Grunaid articles earlier that month which had caused Yates to expand six whole hours on looking at whether there was anything further to investigate, told Leveson: 'I was only as good as the briefings I got.' Diary entries disclosed a pattern of socialising with Wallis, similar to the sessions in expensive restaurants held with two other senior officers, Yates and Andy Hayman. Between 2006 and 2010, Stephenson had eight meetings with Wallis, in addition to an appearance by Wallis at a Scotland Yard reception for Andy Coulson, the former Scum of the World editor who had, by that time, been appointed as David Cameron's media adviser. Restaurants visited included Luciano, in St James's Street, on 23 June 2009, a few days before the Gruniad broke its story alleging a Scum of the World hacking cover-up at a senior level. Stephenson said that he knew at the time Wallis was a 'friend' of Yates who went to football matches with him. Asked by Leveson whether he had not himself become a friend of Wallis, Stephenson said he regarded him more as 'a light acquaintance.' As opposed to a heavy one? Stephenson said he had first been introduced to Wallis as a deputy commissioner fresh from Lancashire at a dinner with Fiasco on 19 September 2006. This, apparently cordial, dinner took place despite a 'tense stand-off' between the Scum of the World and police, who had arrested Mulcaire and Goodman, and attempted to search the paper's premises on 8 August. Police have told Leveson that the paper's staff were 'completely uncooperative' and that officers had 'feared violence' while inside the Scum of the World offices. The inquiry has heard that four days before Stephenson's first Wallis encounter, on 15 September 2006, an - as yet unnamed - senior police officer briefed well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks, the then Sun editor, assuring her that police were 'not planning to pursue' any other Scum of the World journalists for general naughtiness.

London Mayor Boris Johnson's deputy complained to Scotland Yard several times that it was devoting 'too many resources' to the Scum of the World phone-hacking investigation, according to evidence submitted to the Leveson inquiry. Kit Malthouse, who also chairs the Metropolitan police authority, expressed this view 'on several occasions' after a new phone-hacking investigation, Operation Weeting, was set up in January 2011, Paul Stephenson said in his written statement to the inquiry. 'On several occasions after Operation Weeting had started and I had returned from sick leave, the chair of the MPA, Kit Malthouse, expressed a view that we should not be devoting this level of resources to the phone-hacking inquiry as a consequence of a largely political and media-driven "level of hysteria,"' Stephenson wrote. Speaking about Malthouse's comments at the Leveson inquiry on Monday, he said: 'The reality was that this was wrong but that was a fairly widely held view.' Stephenson, who took charge of the Met in May 2009, said it suffered from 'a closed mindset' at the time and worked on the 'flawed assumption' that the original investigation in 2006 was successful. 'There was a feeling, around 2009, that the Met was more and more convinced that the original operation was a success in its totality. What we didn't do is actually go back and challenge the reasons for those decisions in 2006,' he added. 'We got ourselves almost hooked on a defensive strategy that we would not expend significant resources without new or additional evidence.' Lord Justice Leveson put it to Stephenson that 'the very defensive mindset' the former commissioner described 'might be a very, very good example of the relationship and culture between the press and the police.' He added that the natural position of the force was to 'fight back' because the allegations had been made by the press. Stephenson admitted at the Leveson inquiry on Monday morning that he had not read the Gruniad article in 2009 featuring new revelations about the extent of phone hacking by the Scum of the World. Stephenson told Leveson he heard about the article on Radio 4 while driving to Manchester for a police conference and considered it was just 'another piece of noise' and not a priority for him. He asked the deputy assistant commissioner, Champagne John Yates, to investigate and was happy when he reported back later the same day to say that there was nothing of substance in the article. 'It was not a priority for me as a commissioner, it remained one of the many, many pieces of noise that was being dealt with,' said Stephenson. He later admitted that he could not see what the point of the Gruniad's campaign was following a meeting with the editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger. He was being briefed by Met officers that no new investigation was warranted. 'I just did not get the difference [between what the Gruniad was alleging and what Stephenson had been told by Yates],' he said. Leveson put it to Stephenson that this was a cursory 'back of the envelope' decision and that Yates could have come back to him to say more time was needed to review the situation. Leveson said it was not 'a white heat moment' that required a decision that day. Stephenson said he occasionally had meetings with Yates after this when it was apparent the phone-hacking story 'wasn't going away, particularly after the New York Times article in September 2010.' This article contained fresh allegations by a former Scum of the World reporter, the late Sean Hoare, that Andy Coulson - by this time the Prime Minister's director of communications - had been 'aware' of phone-hacking when he edited the paper. But Stephenson said that he was 'happy' with the briefing he got from Yates right up to December 2010 when he became ill. The inquiry heard how the Met launched a new phone-hacking investigation, Operation Weeting, in January 2011 when Stephenson was on a leave of absence because of his ill health. He said Operation Weeting was established because the police had been given 'fresh information' by News International themselves. Leveson said it was 'because nobody had yet gone back to see what you already had in your locker.' Stephenson denied that it was inappropriate that Yates was asked to look at the Gruniad article, given his friendship with Coulson's former deputy Neil Wallis. Last week the Leveson inquiry heard how Yates and Wallis regularly dined together and how the former newspaper executive ended up with a consultancy working with Scotland Yard's PR department. Asked by Leveson were there no other staff available to review the Gruniad article, Stephenson said that Yates 'would have felt that he was more than equipped to deal with it.' The inquiry also heard how Stephenson himself had seven meetings with Wallis – two in 2008, three in 2009 and twice in 2010. Stephenson claimed that he had nothing to do with the decision to hire the media consultancy set up by Wallis but admitted that it had 'played very, very badly.'

The use of an expletive by X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza on a live results show on ITV last October was 'unacceptable,' Ofcom has ruled. The broadcasting watchdog said the term had been 'clearly audible to viewers' and expressed concern over the absence of 'suitable' compliance procedures. The regulator said it had received one hundred and eight complaints about the 23 October show. Channel Television, the company which handles legal compliance for the show, said that it 'regretted' Cocozza's outburst. In its defence, it said no-one on the production team had heard the offensive term when it was broadcast 'due to the noise of the audience at that point in the show. Had we appreciated that the comment was audible to viewers, we would have asked [presenter] Dermot O'Dreary to make an immediate apology,' Ofcom was told. Channel Television said an apology was later made on The Xtra Factor, The X Factor's sister show on digital channel ITV2. In its monthly bulletin, Ofcom pointed out that 'this apology was broadcast approximately forty four minutes after the offensive language occurred, and on a different channel. Had there been suitable compliance procedures in place the broadcaster could have responded in a more timely and appropriate fashion,' the organisation continued. Cocozza's expletive, it said, had been 'unacceptable in the context of a programme that attracts a substantial family audience.' The programme was therefore found to be in breach of Ofcom's Broadcasting Code. Last month Ofcom ruled The X Factor did not breach its code by allowing judge Tulisa Contostavlos to display the name of her perfume in the form of a forearm tattoo. But it did rule that the fragrance had been given 'undue prominence' on its ITV2 spin-off programme.

Channel Five has been cleared in a row over Facebook voting during the live Big Brother final last year, in what could be an important test case for broadcasters offering programme voting over social networks. The debut series of reality show Big Brother on Richard Desmond's Channel Five in 2011 was first UK television programme to invite viewers to pay to vote via Facebook, alongside the standard phone vote system. Viewers could purchase votes via the Facebook Credits system, with each credit buying one vote at a cost of around six and a half pee (although they were sold in blocks with a minimum spend of sixty five pence). During the Big Brother: Live Final broadcast on 11 November on Channel Five, host Brian Dowling repeatedly invited viewers to vote either via Facebook or phone. But seven complainants contacted Ofcom to claim that they were unable to access the Big Brother Facebook page during the final stages of the voting window. This meant that they were unable to place votes that they had already purchased. In response, Channel Five explained that during the final ten minutes of the voting window, the server hosting the Facebook voting system was 'temporarily overloaded due to exceptionally high traffic levels across the entire Big Brother application (i.e. not just traffic from those wishing to vote).' This meant some Facebook users were 'unable to vote expediently or at all.' The incident was first reported at 9.48pm and Channel Five ran a series of tests two minutes later with its service provider, but a remedy was not found until after the voting window had closed. Channel Five denied that it had 'misled' the viewers, claiming that it was 'not liable for any Facebook votes not being registered or recorded due to the technical failure it had with the server.' However, it pointed out that it had offered anyone with remaining votes to use them in the subsequent Celebrity Big Brother series broadcast in January 2012, or refunds would be offered 'upon reasonable request within a reasonable time frame.' The broadcaster responded to the incident by increasing the server capacity 'sevenfold' for future Facebook voting, meaning it was 'confident that this level of capacity exceeds the expected traffic throughout the forthcoming series.' After Channel Five passed Big Brother voting information to Ofcom, the regulator said that it was 'satisfied that the problems experienced on the Facebook application server would not have affected the outcome of the vote.' Ofcom noted that because this is the first time that Facebook voting had been used in the UK, there were 'elements of uncertainty about its operation and demand for the service.' The regulator said that it was 'concerned' that Channel Five had not upheld its licence-holder responsibility to ensure that all audience voting systems were 'sufficiently robust' to deal with demand, but accepted that Channel Five did not 'deliberately' intend to mislead viewers about the Facebook voting process. Ofcom praised Channel Five's offer for any remaining votes to be reused or refunded, and welcomed the move to increase server capacity for future Facebook voting. 'Ofcom also noted the action undertaken by Channel Five to improve the speed at which any such incidents would be identified and reported,' said the regulator. 'Taking these actions into account, Ofcom considers the matter resolved.' Ofcom is currently running a year-long trial of allowing broadcasters to offer paid-for viewer participation for audience voting and competition schemes using web-based applications, such as social networks. After the trial ends on 20 August 2012, Ofcom will asses the impact of associated issues around the scheme, but it said that in light of the Channel Five case, it 'may decide to undertake a more wide-ranging formal review of this area.'

A fox believed to be the biggest ever killed in Britain was shot after attacking lambs on an Aberdeenshire farm. It weighed thirty eight lbs and was four feet nine inches from nose to the tip of its tail. On average the animals tend to weigh up to about fifteen pounds. Alan Hepworth, from Rothiemay, shot the fox on a friend's farm and said its size was 'incredible.' He said: 'We take no real pleasure from it. It's just what we have to do to stop them getting out of control.' Hepworth explained: 'We have to shoot foxes to keep on top of them, and stop them from killing the lambs. It was late at night, and this particular fox caught our eye because it was such an incredible size. When we went over to pick it up, we were amazed by quite how big it was. I could only hold it for a while because it was so heavy and was nearly as big as a roe deer.' He added: 'I'm five feet seven inches, and it was four feet nine. When I held it up, it was almost the same size as me.' Jonathan Reynolds, senior research scientist at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust said: 'A thirty eight pound fox would have been unthinkable a few years ago. We don't know why they are getting bigger, but one possible explanation is that they are getting better fed in urban areas.'

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day is a heartfelt attack on on the horrors of fascism. And, the horrors of Angela Rippon for that matter. Which is fair enough really. Sing, Elvis.

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