Saturday, March 24, 2012

With Every Breath We Take The Illusions We Create Will Come To You Someday

Former Doctor Who actor David Tennant (remember him?) has congratulated new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman. The twenty five-year-old actress was unveiled to the public on Wednesday and will join the BBC's popular long-running SF family drama at Christmas. Tennant told the Digital Spy website. 'She'll have a brilliant time. I'm very jealous of [someone] starting out on that extraordinary journey.' However, the Scottish actor - who played The Doctor from 2005 to 2010 - warned Coleman to 'keep [her] nose clean' and to watch her back. You're suddenly rocketed into a world of attention,' he explained. 'You just need to watch your back a little bit, but it's wonderful and it's such an exciting thing to be starting out on.' Current Doctor Who lead Matt Smith recently revealed that he is 'very excited' to work with Coleman. 'I was part of the audition process where we met a number of wonderful actresses,' he said. 'But I think Jenna responded to Steven [Moffat]'s writing in the most interesting way.'

The Queen has visited Salford and officially opened the BBC's base in the MediaCityUK complex. Earlier, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh opened hospitals in Manchester after arriving on the royal train at Manchester Victoria Station. At MediaCity, she was taken on a tour of the BBC's studios and watched Football Focus in rehearsal. Later, the royal couple will attend a lunch at Manchester Town Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Manchester. The visit is part of the Queen's tour of the UK to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Hundreds of schoolchildren cheered and waved flags when she arrived at the BBC's home in the MediaCityUK complex, with one particularly bright and articulate child handing her a home-made greeting card saying 'Welcome to Salford.' BBC director general Mark Thompson and Peter Salmon, director of BBC North, accompanied the royal party on a tour of the buildings. They visited the studio where Match Of The Day and Football Focus are filmed, watching a rehearsal featuring ex-Liverpool defender, now pundit, Mark Lawrenson and German former player Didi Hamann, an ex-Liverpool midfielder. Which would've been nice for Her Maj as she's German too. Fortunately, Alan Shearer wasn't there otherwise he might've elbowed someone in the mush. Anyway, presenter Dan Walker explained how Football Focus was constructed before the Queen was escorted to the Children's TV studios where CBBC and Newsround are broadcast. There the Queen was greeted by children's show presenters Chris Johnson, Ore Oduba and Cerrie Burnell. A puppetry performance was given by the characters Hacker T Dog and Dodge T Dog, with help from Phil Fletcher and Warrick Brownlow-Pike respectively, who present the links between children's shows. 'We thought you might bring the corgis with you?' Hacker T Dog said - before the puppetmasters appeared from beneath the desk to reveal themselves with a bow. 'That's very good, isn't it?' the Queen said. No, your majesty, it's puppetry. It cannot, by definition, be said to be good or anything even remotely like it. John Whittaker, chairman of Peel Group, developer of the site, spoke before the Queen pulled the cord to unveil a plaque for the official opening. He said Queen Victoria opened the Manchester Ship Canal, on the banks of which MediaCity now stands in 1894, and the exact spot used to be Dock Nine, opened by her great-grandfather Edward VII in 1905. The Queen also started the BBC Sport Relief Mile for six hundred participants from quayside at the complex. Earlier, she had opened Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital and a new wing at Manchester Royal Infirmary. There they met staff and patients and listened to a specially-commissioned musical work by the Royal Northern College of Music. After lunch, the royal couple will visit a Jubilee garden in the town square, before attending an 'urban garden party' at Manchester Central.

Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has said that it isn't worth watching Sir Tom Jones on rival talent show The Voice because he may not be alive for the second episode. Classy. When asked why viewers should miss the last twenty minutes of Tom Jones, Holden replied: 'Because he might be spinning in his grave next week, so that's probably the best way.' What lovely woman.

Stevie Wonder has been named as the Sunday night headliner for Bestival on the Isle of Wight. The soul legend, who had his first UK hit in 1966, will appear at the Isle of Wight festival on Sunday 9 September. Bestival organiser Rob da Bank said: 'A winner of twenty five Grammy Awards, the most ever for a solo artist, this is a very rare chance to see a legend in action.' Other acts already announced to play at the annual festival include New Order, The xx and Rizzle Kicks. Wonder, who became blind shortly after birth, started his career with Motown Records as an eleven-year-old. A twenty four carat musical genius, he was a chart regular in the 1960s and then released a string of critically-acclaimed (and huge-selling) LPs in the 1970s (Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life), which saw him pioneer the use of synthesisers. Although, to be brutally honest, the last truly great work he released was in 1980 (Hotter Than July). Since then, it's all been a bit ... musak, frankly. At Glastonbury in 2010, he ended the festival by leading the crowd in a massed rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.

It is usually a compliment to be mistaken for someone famous. But not when that celebrity lookalike is twenty four years older and you're Jonathan Ross. As the Daily Lies reports, it turns out that since Engelbert Humperdinck was named as the UK's representative at Eurovision, Ross keeps getting mistaken for the seventy five-year-old. 'Everywhere I go people keep saying "good luck at Eurovision." They say "you can do it Engelbert,"' he is alleged to have said. Although, this being the Daily Lies, how much faith dear blog readers can put in these claims is, I'd suggest, something of a vexed question. Wossy can't believe the case of mistaken identity – he describes himself as being in his 'youngish prime' and said that he is getting the hump a bit over the comparison. Nul points.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate Jenson Button in qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix to take his second pole position in two races this year. Hamilton was 0.149 seconds quicker than Button, who nudged Mercedes's Michael Schumacher down to third. Red Bull's Mark Webber will start fourth ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who used the harder tyre in an attempt to boost his race hopes. Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, but will start tenth after a penalty.

The world's largest Christian TV channel, the California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network, has become embroiled in a multimillion dollar financial scandal after members of the family that founded it alleged widespread embezzlement according to the Gruniad Morning Star. The claims – by Brittany Koper, whose grandfather Paul Crouch founded TBN, and by Joseph McVeigh, another family member – describe 'exorbitant spending' on mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida, private jets and even a one hundred thousand dollar-mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch's flamboyant wife, Janice. The network, which claims to broadcast in every continent (except the Antarctic) and has eighteen thousand affiliates, was set up by Crouch in the 1970s and preaches a so-called 'prosperity gospel' which promises material rewards to those who give generously. Well, 'the Lord helps those that help themselves' after all. Two years ago it declared a net worth of over eight hundred million dollars although in recent years it has faced increasing financial problems. Details of the claims are contained in cases filed with the California courts by McVeigh, who claims that he was 'targeted' by the network, and twenty six-year-old Koper, who was fired in September, according to the Gruniad's report. According to the lawsuit, reported in a number of US newspapers, Paul Crouch Sr obtained a fifty million dollar luxury jet for his 'personal use' through 'a sham loan', while church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its 'Praise-a-thons' – paid for the mobile home housing his wife's dogs. The suit filed by Joseph McVeigh makes the most damning allegations, the Gruniad state, claiming: 'unlawful and unreported income distributions to Trinity Broadcasting's directors' including 'multiple jet aircraft, including a fifty million dollars Global Express luxury jet aircraft purchased for the personal use of the Crouches through a sham loan as well as an eight million dollar Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch.' It also describes the purchase of 'multiple motor vehicles, including a one hundred thousand dollar motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch's dogs.' Directors of the network are also accused of 'misusing funds' to 'cover up sexual scandals.' The sexual scandals listed in court papers include the alleged 'cover-up and destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity Broadcasting and affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of director Janice Crouch's affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch's use of Trinity Broadcasting funds to pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford (a former TBN employee who said he had a homosexual affair with [founder] Paul Crouch).' Brittany Koper, the network's former finance director, was fired last autumn – she claims after she discovered the extent of the financial wrongdoing at the network. Koper's lawsuit follows one launched by the church against her – later dismissed – which alleged that Koper and her husband used forged documents to embezzle funds to buy cars, jewellery and a fishing boat. 'She blew the whistle and got terminated,' Koper's lawyer Tymothy MacLeod, told the LA Times. 'Brittany has done the right thing. It's admirable that someone on the inside of TBN has come forward and is revealing to the world exactly what is going on behind those closed doors. These large ministries, they do become family enterprises and in many ways that can be a most precarious problem for them,' David E Harrell, a professor emeritus of American religion at Auburn University, who has written about well-known televangelists told the Associated Press. 'Business squabbles, if they're complicated with family squabbles, can get nasty indeed.' TBN, the Gruniad claim, is 'no stranger to outside scrutiny.' In 1998 they state, the elder Crouch 'secretly paid an accuser four hundred and twenty five thousand dollars to keep quiet about allegations of a homosexual encounter.' Crouch Sr has consistently denied the allegations ever since, which were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, and has said he settled the case 'only to avoid a costly and embarrassing trial.' In 2000, after a five-year battle, a federal appeals court overturned a ruling by the FCC that found Crouch had created a 'sham' minority company to get around limits on the number of TV stations he could own. The network's lawyer has denied the allegations calling the McVeigh lawsuit a 'tabloid filing' accusing McVeigh and the Kopers of 'working together' to 'steal from the ministry.' He added that the Crouches travel by private jet because they have had 'scores of death threats, more than the president of the United States.'

And so to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And this would seem to be appropriate. Here's The Good News, dear blog reader.

No comments: