Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ape Your Father's Sins, Your Mother's Mood Swings

The Voice has broken hit drama Sherlock's record for the most iPlayer views in a single day. Saturday's episode of the singing competition clocked seven hundred and sixty four thousand requests to view on the BBC's Video on Demand service. This topped the previous record held by an episode of Sherlock on New Year's Day, which was watched by six hundred and twenty three thousand times in a single day. The Voice entered the battle rounds at the weekend, where the aspiring singers were divided into pairs and asked to duet to keep their place in the competition. The show was watched by 9.89m overnight viewers on Saturday, while Sunday's edition picked up an audience of 10.09m. The iPlayer viewing builds on the success The Voice has had on Twitter, where it has topped the list of the most talked about TV shows in recent weeks.

Top Twenty Five programmes week ending 15 April 2012:-
1 The Voice - BBC1 Sat - 11.99m
2 Britain's Got Talent - ITV Sat - 11.59m
3 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 9.51m
4 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 8.86m
5 The Apprentice - BBC1 Wed - 8.05m
6 Silent Witness - BBC1 Sun - 7.59m
7 Emmerdale - ITV Thurs - 7.56m
8 Antiques Roadshow - 7.41m
9 Have I Got News For You - BBC1 Fri - 6.17m
10 FA Cup: Moscow Chelski FC vs Happy Harry's Hapless Hotshots - ITV Sat - 6.01m
11 The Syndicate - BBC1 Tues - 5.98m
12 Scott & Bailey - ITV Mon - 5.96m
13 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 5.95m
14 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 5.84m
15 BBC News - BBC1 Mon - 5.43m
16 Not Going Out - BBC1 Fri - 5.18m
17 Long Lost Family - ITV Thurs - 5.07m*
18 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 5.05m
19 Waterloo Road - BBC1 Wed - 5.03m
20 Watchdog - BBC1 Thurs - 4.53m
21 Titanic With Len Goodman - BBC1 Mon - 4.48m
22 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Tues - 4.47m
23 The National Lottery: In It To Win It - BBC1 Sat - 4.34m
24 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Fri - 4.27m
25 The ONE Show - BBC1 Tues - 4.19m
Those programmes marked '*' do not including HD figures.

Anna Maxwell Martin and Survivors actress Julie Graham have been cast in a new World War II-era crime drama The Bletchley Circle. The actresses will join Tipping The Velvet star Rachel Stirling and Sophie Rundle from Lord Snooty's Titanic in the four-part ITV series. The Bletchley Circle centres on a group of codebreakers who leave their quiet post-war lives behind and use their skills to solve a murder. 'The Bletchley Circle combines a vivid portrait of post-war Britain with a taut and original thriller,' said Laura Mackie, ITV's head of drama commissioning. 'I'm delighted that we've attracted such a strong cast to bring it to life.' Producer Jake Lushington added: 'The Bletchley Circle is about what might have been. Despite the era they have come through, [these women] have the capacity, the ideas and the ability to process evidence and crack a murder case. In many ways it is a form of police profiling which was way ahead of its time.' Filming on the drama will begin in London at the end of April.

Police in Germany last week arrested a man who played a jewel thief in a TV re-enactment of a real-life crime. Aaron Defant, twenty nine, was identified as the culprit in Stuttgart city centre on Wednesday by a member of the public who had watched the ZDF broadcast of Aktenzeichen XY... Ungelöst (a kind of German version of Crimewatch) five weeks earlier, The Local reports. The show's presenter Rudi Cerne told Bild that this was the first time such a mix-up had happened. He added: 'Maybe it's because the actor looked very similar to the real criminal.' Of being apprehended, Defant said: 'Suddenly two officers were standing behind me. They demanded my ID. I asked them why, but they didn't answer. I told them I'm an actor.' Defant managed to convince the officers that he was not the man responsible for the unsolved theft in Kirn, Rhineland-Palatinate.

Appropriate Adult, ITV's dramatisation of the investigation into serial killer Fred West, leads the nominations for this year's BAFTA TV Awards. The two-part drama scored four nominations, including best mini-series, leading actor for Dominic West and leading actress for Emily Watson. BBC1 series Sherlock and Channel Four drama This Is England '88 both received three nominations each. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on 27 May. In the leading actor category, Dominic West will take on Benedict Cumberbatch, who is nominated for his role as Sherlock Holmes, plus John Simm for his role in Exile and Joseph Gilgun for This is England '88. Watson is nominated in the best actress category alongside Romola Garai for The Crimson Petal and the White, Nadine Marshal for Channel Four's Random and Vicky McClure for her acclaimed performance as Lol in This Is England '88. McClure won the BAFTA last year for the same role in This Is England '86. Five-time BAFTA winner Dame Maggie Smith is nominated in the best supporting actress category for Downton Abbey. She will go up against comedian Miranda Hart, who starred in Call the Midwife, The Hour's Anna Chancellor and Monica Dolan for Appropriate Adult. Sherlock's other two nominations came in the supporting actor category, with Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott recognised for their roles as John Watson and Jim Moriarty.

Torchwood writer Jane Espenson has defended the last run of episodes. Well, someone had to. The ten-part Miracle Day received a mixed reaction, with Espenson noting: 'I've never dealt with a more passionate group of fans, so they weighed in very loudly about this last season,' she told The Hollywood Reporter. Though, given that Magic Jane used to write for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Star Trek franchise and Battlestar Galactica, I find that rather hard to believe, frankly! '[The last season] was the only season I was involved in. I was very proud of what we did.' Espenson argued that the final episodes had turned out 'amazingly well', but suggested that Miracle Day had failed to match the quality of 2009 mini-series Children of Earth. 'I don't think you can ever beat Children of Earth which was an absolute masterwork,' she said. 'But I thought we did very well. I thought we did things with that show that are not normally seen on American television.'
John Ryley, the head of Sky News, has admitted that the broadcaster 'broke the law' by hacking personal e-mail accounts for stories. Speaking at the Leveson inquiry, set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and general naughtiness of some parts of the media, Ryley said that it is 'highly unlikel'" that Sky News will break the law again, but he stopped short of completely ruling it out completely. Earlier in the month, Sky News - part-owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch - confirmed that it had accessed the accounts of 'canoe man' John Darwin and his wife Anne, along with that of 'a suspected paedophile.' Unnamed and, to the best of anyone's  knowledge, never actually changed with any offences. At the time, Ryley insisted that the actions were justified in the 'public interest', and also questioned the 'double standards' of the Gruniad Morning Star, which highlighted the e-mail hacking. However, media regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it is to investigate the e-mail hacking to see if their were potential 'fairness and privacy' breaches by the broadcaster. At the hearing, Lord Leveson asked Ryley: 'Where does the Ofcom code give authority to a breach of the criminal law?' To this, Ryley replied: 'It doesn't.' Sky has argued that the hacking of the e-mails of Darwin, who faked his own death as part of an insurance fraud, was 'in the public interest' as it gathered evidence showing his wife Anne's involvement in the crime. Which some people might argue is the police's job and not that of a broadcaster. There is no such technical defence available under the Computer Misuse Act, but Sky argued that the Crown Prosecution Service has said that it can 'sometimes be justified' for a journalist to commit the offence where the story is 'in the public interest.' Who gets to decide what is in the public's interest and what isn't is a rather more grey area. Asked where Sky News might in future consider breaking the law in pursuit of a story, Ryley replied: 'Journalism is at times a tough business. And we need at times to shed light into wrongdoing. There may be an occasion. It would be very, very rare.' Ryley also apologised to Lord Leveson after the broadcaster had previously claimed that it had 'not engaged in any hacking', when in fact senior executives knew that it had. Ryley claimed that it was 'highly regrettable' that a lawyer representing Sky News had written to the inquiry last year, stating: 'Sky News editorial and reporting staff to whom we have spoken have never intercepted communications.' At the time the letter was sent, Ryley and other executives at Sky News were well aware that reporter Gerard Tubb had hacked the e-mail account belonging to Darwin.

Former News International chairman James Murdoch will appear at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards to give evidence later. And, presumably, to get his caning. He was the head of his father's UK newspaper operations when the phone-hacking scandal emerged. Murdoch, who resigned as chairman in February, is set to face detailed questions about what he knew and when he stopped knowing it. His father, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, will appear before the Leveson Inquiry on Wednesday and Thursday. The Murdochs are likely to be asked hard about whether they were aware of allegations that the practice of illegally intercepting voicemails went beyond Scum of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007. Last year James Murdoch told MPs that he had 'no prior knowledge' of the scale of wrongdoing on the newspapers he controlled. But in December, an e-mail from 2008 was released indicating he had been copied into messages referring to the 'rife' practice of phone-hacking at the Scum of the World. Nevertheless, despite this, for the next two years, News International continued to stick to the 'single rouge reporter' defence until finally forced into admitting this was, simply, not true, in late 2010. Murdoch claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, that although he was copied into the e-mail, he did not read it fully. He stood down as head of the UK newspaper business that owns the Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times. The BBC's political correspondent Rob Watson suggests that these promise to be the most dramatic few days in the Leveson Inquiry to date. Many politicians, he claims, will 'not be looking forward to a very public discussion of how close they became to Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers.' The Leveson Inquiry is now turning its attention to the relationship between the press and prominent politicians as part of its examination of the ethics, culture and practices of the UK's newspapers. On Monday, Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the Independent and Evening Standard, told the Leveson Inquiry that politicians 'overestimated' the influence newspapers had on the political process in the UK. He said that he had met David Cameron four times and Ed Miliband twice. The inquiry has already heard from Richard Desmond, owner of the Scum Express and Daily Lies titles. It is expected to take evidence from Daily Scum Mail and Scum Mail on Sunday owner Lord Rothermere in the coming weeks.

The chairman of the company behind the Daily Torygraph texted David Cameron before the last election to suggest the Conservative leader should speak to the editor of his newspaper every day during the campaign to ensure his party's 'message was getting across' in the broadsheet. Aidan Barclay texted the would-be prime minister in March 2010 after a breakfast meeting with him at the Ritz hotel, which his family also owns, saying he had 'spoken to Tony G' – Tony Gallagher, the editor of the Daily Torygraph – and they would 'arrange a daily call during the campaign as discussed.' Giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry, in a rare public appearance, Barclay explained he believed that if Cameron 'wanted to get the attention of the editor [of the Torygraph] and wanted to get his message across in the most efficient manner, he should make a habit of phoning him on a daily basis and I recommended that's what they should do.' The Torygraph chairman said that he did not check 'on a daily basis' if the calls took place, and it is understood that the Conservative leader only rang Gallagher 'three or four times' during the election campaign, which eventually saw the Conservatives returned to office in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The text was one of a handful sent between Barclay and Cameron, showing that the member of the family which owns the Torygraph used his personal access to try to lobby the Conservative leader, particularly over economic matters and the need for greater financial deregulation. Barclay has known Cameron personally since meeting him during the 2005 leadership campaign. On 24 May of last year, Barclay texted the now prime minister, suggesting that the 'Bank of England announce extension to liquidity scheme' and that banks should have 'say five years to implement' the new Basel three capital and liquidity rules. The message was signed off 'best, Aidan.' Seven minutes later, another message from the Torygraph owner followed: 'David, I'm sure you're aware that the credit markets are not good and are likely to get worse, as they all err on the side of caution faced with combination of more regulation Basel three, more liquidity losses from sovereign debt, the Bank of England support and potential tax all at the wrong time. I hope you don't mind me mentioning it. Regards Aidan.' Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who also own hotels, property, online shopping and logistics companies that employ twenty thousand people, bought the Torygraph titles in 2004 for six hundred and sixty five million smackers, installing Sir David's eldest son, Aidan, as the chairman of Telegraph Media Group. The low-profile twins, who divide their time between Brecqhou, off Sark, and Monaco, avoid public appearances, and delegate the running of their portfolio of interests to Aidan and a group of close associates. Aidan Barclay said that the titles were conservative with both a 'small and a capital C,' and it was clear from the evidence that the Conservative politics of the titles was in keeping with the company chairman, who said he was worried about over-regulation on business and opposed to 'high taxation for high earners.' But, he insisted that he did not 'have the habit of interfering with editorial matters.' Instead, he sought influence by asking that the prime minister be e-mailed an 'interesting article' written by Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator – which is also owned by the Barclay family – on the subject of whether increasing the rate of tax on high earners actually increased the amount of money raised by the Treasury overall. The scion of the family published a list of his meetings with David Cameron and other senior politicians, generally entertaining them at the Ritz hotel, or visiting them at Number 10 or other ministerial offices. The Ritz breakfast of March 2010 was one of three meetings in the year before the election, including a meeting on 3 November 2009 and a dinner at the Camerons' house on 25 November. Two other meetings followed the election, a meeting and drinks reception on 6 July 2010, and a dinner at Number 10 on 18 November, where Cameron briefly asked the Torygraph chairman for his views on Rupert Murdoch's bid for BSkyB. Barclay had earlier told the inquiry that he was opposed to the bid because he was worried about the capacity that News Corporation and BSkyB had for cross-selling print and television advertising across The Times, the Sun and Sky television, and the possibility of bundling digital versions of the newspapers to Sky subscribers. Barclay says he was asked for his view, and outlined his reasons, but the conversation was brief 'as it was a dinner where spouses were included.' David Barr, inquiry counsel, asked 'would it be fair to summarise that as that in very brief and informal circumstances you were able to communicate your views to the prime minister?' Replying, Barclay reiterated how brief the exchanges were: 'Well, first of all, he asked me, and secondly, he didn't comment on what I said. It was kind of a grunt and the conversation moved on.' The Torygraph owner said that he had met Tony Blair five times whilst he was prime minister, on 'relaxed and social' occasions, while there were eight meetings with Gordon Brown when he occupied Number 10. As with Cameron, Barclay sent Brown articles, and, in 2008 during the financial crisis, sent him a copy of A Monetary History of the United States, an analysis of the Great Depression, written by the monetarist economist Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz. Barclay said that he had never met Labour's leader, Ed Miliband, or the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.

Glasgow Rangers have been hit with a twelve-month transfer embargo, while owner Craig Whyte has been banned for life from any involvement in Scottish football. The Scottish Football Association also fined the Ibrox club, who are in administration, one hundred and sixty grand. Which they, obviously, haven't got. It's a bit like your bank charging you a fee when you have 'insufficient funds' to clear a cheques, isn't it. Whyte, who was charged with 'not being a fit and proper person to be a director', or, indeed, 'run a piss up in a brewery', faces fines of two hundred thousand smackers. 'It doesn't affect my life, I'm just disappointed what it does to Rangers. It's an outrage,' Whyte told BBC Sport. He was charged with three different rule breaches and found guilty of two, with the other 'not proven.' Rangers were charged with six breaches, with five guilty verdicts and one 'not proven.' The transfer embargo means they can only sign players under the age of eighteen for the next year. Rangers received the embargo and one hundred thousand notes fine for breaching rule sixty six - bringing the game into disrepute. A fifty thousand knicker fine was handed out for going into administration and ten grand for failing to ensure that Whyte acted within rules concerning fit and proper officials. The Gers chairman failed to notify the SFA that he had been disqualified as a director for seven years in 2000. The club were also found guilty of acting in an improper manner/against the best interests of football and also of failing to pay Dundee United gate receipts from their Scottish Cup meeting. They were 'censured' on both counts.

An MI6 officer found dead in his flat had been 'a scrupulous risk-assessor' and only let 'vetted' people into his home, his sister has told an inquest. The body of Gareth Williams, originally from Anglesey, was found padlocked in a bag in a bath in his Pimlico flat in August 2010. So, one imagines they've ruled out suicide. Ceri Subbe said that only family members had keys to her brother's flat and that he would not have let in a potential unknown killer. The inquest is expected to examine whether anyone else was involved. Subbe said that her brother had never told her he had been followed or felt threatened. 'I cannot think as to why anybody would want to harm him,' she told the inquest. In a statement read to the court, Subbe said that MI6 had been 'dragging their feet' over her brother's request to return to government communications surveillance agency GCHQ's headquarters in Gloucestershire. The mathematics prodigy had worked as a cipher and codes expert for GCHQ since 2001. He had been working for MI6 in London on what had been meant to be a three-year secondment, but 'as time went by his enthusiasm began to fade', Subbe said. 'He disliked office culture, post-work drinks, flash car competitions and the rat race. He even spoke of friction in the office,' the statement said. Giving evidence at Westminster Coroner's Court, Subbe added: 'The job was not quite what he expected. He encountered more red tape than he was comfortable with.' Williams had asked to return to GCHQ in April 2010 and MI6 had agreed he could leave on 1 September 2010. Police believe Williams died in the early hours of Tuesday 16 August. The inquest was told that he failed to show up to a meeting which he had been due to chair that day and Subbe had spoken to one of his colleagues. 'He is very conscientious. The person I spoke to agreed, and said Gareth was like a Swiss clock - very punctual, very efficient, and it was very unlike him not to attend a meeting,' she said. Subbe told the inquest he had seemed upbeat the last time she spoke to him. She said it was 'not particularly' surprising that twenty thousand smackers of women's clothing had been found in her brother's flat and that they could possibly have been gifts. The police officer who discovered the bag in the bath, PC John Gallagher, told the inquest that he was let into the locked flat by a letting agent after reports that Williams was missing. He said that, once inside, his attention was drawn to a woman's wig hanging on the corner of a chair. When he got to the bathroom, there was a bathrobe on the floor outside the closed door, he added. When he opened the door, he noticed the bag in the bath but only became aware of the 'particular smell' of a body when he tried to lift the bag. 'I noticed that the side nearest the door had a round bulge,' he said. 'I noticed there was a padlock with the two zips joined together. At this point I am realising it is something serious and my concern was to not damage anything in a crime scene.' He said that he could only see red fluid seeping out after he lifted the bag up 'by six or seven inches.' He called for back-up and Detective Sergeant Paul Colgan arrived who cut open the holdall to reveal the body inside. Opening proceedings earlier, coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said that evidence into Williams's death would be heard in public but that some sensitive information would be withheld because of 'a real risk of harm' to national security. Summaries or 'gists' of any withheld evidence would be revealed in court and there would be 'a full, fair and fearless inquest into this highly controversial death', she said. The inquest will hear from Williams's colleagues from MI6 and the GCHQ, toxicology experts and bag experts. Most of the thirty seven witnesses will give evidence in person, but some officers will be able to testify anonymously and behind screens. Broadcasters and newspaper have applied for photographs, video and documents referred to in open court to be supplied to the media. But a lawyer for the Met Police, Vincent Williams, said that there was 'a live complex ongoing investigation' into the death and charges were still 'a real possibility.' Dr Wilcox suggested that the lawyers agree a compromise outside court. A lawyer for Williams's family said they opposed the release of video footage showing an attempted reconstruction of how he may have climbed into the bath. A post-mortem examination and further toxicology tests - which found no trace of drugs, alcohol or poison - and the police investigation have all failed to establish an exact cause of death. Police originally found it would have been impossible for Williams to have locked himself inside the holdall his naked body was found in. But they have been unable to establish whether he died at the hands of a third party or not. Dr Wilcox told a pre-inquest hearing in March that whether the code-breaker was able to lock himself in the bag would be 'at the very heart' of the inquest. Lawyer Anthony O'Toole told the pre-inquest hearing that Williams's family believed a third party was present at his death or later destroyed evidence. 'The impression of the family is that the unknown third party was a member of some agency specialising in the dark arts of the secret services - or evidence has been removed post-mortem by experts in the dark arts,' he said.

Stand-up comedian Phil Kay has, reportedly 'sparked a flurry of complaints' after two bizarre shows in which he stripped naked and hurled abuse at the audience. At one stage, he was crying on stage, grabbing the leg of gig organiser Steph Renshaw and begging her to pay him as the bewildered punters looked on. Renshaw told STV that Kay 'was a complete disaster from start to finish and I have never experienced anything like that in my whole life. We told him he wasn't getting paid as he had broken banners and people had walked out and were demanding refunds.' Audience member Richard Hay wrote on Twitter that the gig at Aberdeen's Blue Lamp on Saturday, was 'a drunken, distracted shambles. A quasi breakdown where he's downing wine and arguing with the promoter.' And Alan Shand told the Chortle website: 'Half the audience left before the interval and he was eventually booed offstage. Not a good night and painful to watch.' Another punter alleged that Kay had told the audience to 'fuck off' and pilfered wine from them. Breakneck Comedy promoter Naz Hussein said he received 'several complaints' about the gig. And, he said, Renshaw rang him from the show and that he couldn't hear her over the sounds of the audience chanting 'Off! Off! Off!' Kay's gig at Stonehaven's Station Hotel, also in the North East of Scotland, too was said to have been a disaster. Kay – who once had his own Channel Four series - is known for his freewheeling and unpredictable style, but Renshaw said: 'It was only the third time we had booked him but every single time has been a disaster.'

Limited edition releases by The Arctic Monkeys and David Bowie helped boost sales of vinyl on Record Store Day. Sales of seven-inch singles sold rose by sixty two per cent, said organisers, with a rare Noel Gallagher EP topping the chart. However, vinyl still remains a niche market. Despite the sales boost, only fifteen hundred seven-inch singles were sold last week. Record Store Day, which took place on Saturday 21 April is an annual campaign to get fans to visit their local independent music shop. Musicians supported the campaign by releasing dozens of exclusive songs and rarities - with highlights including a hard-to-find remix of ABBA's 'Voulez-Vous' and a limited-edition coloured vinyl by The White Stripes. Many of the two hundred and thirty record stores that took part saw queues form outside their doors early on Saturday morning. According to organisers, all of the top ten physical singles sold last week were Record Store Day exclusives. Former Oasis guitarist Gallagher was number one, with a four-song EP that compiled b-sides from his High Flying Birds project. The release had been limited to two thousand copies. Next came a heavyweight purple vinyl edition of The Arctic Monkeys' latest single, 'RU Mine', followed by a re-release of The Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy In The UK'. The newly-launched Official Record Store Chart, which tracks LP sales in independent record shops, was also dominated by Record Store Day releases. Seven of the Top Ten records were exclusives, said the Official Chart Company. The Beatles were the most popular, with a four-disc vinyl box-set of their number one singles charting at number three. Leonard Cohen Live In Fredericton was at four, followed by Metallica's Beyond Magnetic at five. However, the week's best-selling LP was a traditional release - the new recording by space-rock specialists Spiritualized. Their LP, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, pushed last week's number one, by Alabama Shakes, into second place. Record Store Day coordinator Spencer Hickman, who also runs the Rough Trade East record store in London, said: 'I can't believe just how busy Record Store Day was again this year. With vinyl sales again on the rise for the fifth year in a row, indie record stores and RSD are proving to be more relevant than ever for the discerning music buyer.' Vinyl record sales reached a six-year high in 2011. A total of three hundred and forty one thousand LPs were sold, with Radiohead's The King Of Limbs the best-selling record of the year.

Which, of course, brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's the sound of vinyl.

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