Friday, April 27, 2012

I Wave To The Policemen, But They Don't Wave Back, They Don't Dig Anything

A group of broadcasters and journalists have told the High Court that handing over previously unbroadcast footage to police risks interfering with press freedom. Organisations including the BBC are challenging an order granted to Essex Police compelling them to hand over tapes of the evictions at Dale Farm. Doing so would make the media be seen as 'coppers' narks', the court heard. Dirty stinkin' copper's narks, at that. The footage was shot during an operation to evict travellers from the site near Basildon last year. The footage, filmed on 19 and 20 October, includes scenes of violence as bailiffs dismantled barricades. The production orders were made in February on behalf of Essex Police by Judge Gratwicke at Chelmsford Crown Court. The BBC, ITN, BSkyB, Channel Five, Hardcash Productions and freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson are all challenging the legality of the court orders. The case is expected to provide guidelines on the use of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Essex Police have said that the orders under PACE were 'necessary' because there were 'reasonable grounds' to believe that the journalistic material sought 'would be likely to assist' its investigations. Gavin Millar QC, appearing for the media organisations, argued that the orders were 'an excessive, unlawful and disproportionate intrusion' into the media's freedom of expression under Article Ten of the European Convention on Human Rights. Millar told the court that the police were 'increasingly trying to seize footage' of public disorder as 'a convenient way to access evidence that may be used in court.' He said: 'But it has given rise to great concern on the other side of the courtroom, on the part of the media organisations, that there is a risk they will come to be regarded as doing the police's job for them.' When asked about whether this meant that they would be seen as 'coppers' narks', he replied: 'Yes - it is a very hot issue on both sides. That is why the issues are something of a test case.' Around eighty traveller families were evicted from a part of the Dale Farm site which had been built on green belt land, after a ten-year planning dispute. Judgement in the case was reserved.

The BBC has apologised after 'hundreds' of viewers complained about allegedly violent scenes in BBC1's Silent Witness. Sunday's opening episode of a two-part story - Fear - culminated in a scene in which a prison officer, played by the actor Leo Gregory, beat and kicked an inmate on the floor of a toilet cubicle. The BBC said that four hundred and eighty three people had complained the story - or, at least, aspects of it - was 'too violent.' A statement said the BBC had been felt the scenes would not go beyond viewers' expectations, but 'we're sorry if you felt we got it wrong on this occasion.' Why the hell do the BBC always feel the need to apologise every time some glake with more time on their hands that they know what to do with whinges about some aspect of their output instead of saying, you know, 'have you not go a remote control?' Or, in this case, four hundred and eighty three glakes. Sunday's episode of the crime thriller was watched by an initial overnight audience of 6.1 million people. So, if you're really good at maths, that's 0.0079 per cent of the overnight audience who felt it worth whinging about. The episode was, of course, shown after the watershed, and carried a pre-programme announcement, warning viewers that 'violent and upsetting' scenes occurred within it. While the climactic scene hid much of the violence behind a closed door, viewers could hear the screams of the victim, and saw blood leaking onto the floor. Some people, seemingly with nothing better to do with their time, voiced their complaints online. Of course they did, because why make a complaint, in private, to the broadcaster in question, when you can wave your metaphorical willy about in public in a 'look at me I'm A Man' fashion, instead. 'For the first time ever a programme made me feel physically sick,' wrote one - anonymous - contributor on the Digital Spy website message boards. 'The cubicle scene went too far,' wrote another. 'I don't want this series to turn into one of those dreadful torture porn dramas we see elsewhere on television.' Such as? I'd love to hear an example of all of these numerous 'dreadful torture porn drama's cluttering up our TV screens. Come on, anonymous Digital Spy contributor, name one. Just one. What's that ...? Oh, it's the sound of silence. In its rather weary sounding statement, the BBC said: 'We acknowledge that certain scenes may have been challenging but we filmed and presented them in such a way as to make sure that, although as a viewer the implication was there, it was never actually shown. As programme makers we take our responsibility to the audience extremely seriously and try to make sure we strike the right balance between compelling drama without being unnecessarily graphic.' Sadly,  the BBC are far too nice for their own good at times, if this blogger is successful in his application to be Mark Thompson's replacement as DG, I'd've told the complainers to naff off and watch ITV instead and stop bothering me with their piffling, pointless, idiotic malarkey. Which is probably one very good reason why yer actual Keith Telly Topping is unlikely to be the next DG. It's not the only reason, mind. There are others.  Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received thirty five complaints about the show. It is currently assessing these and no decision has been made on whether they will launch a formal investigation or not. But, if you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know that every month Ofcom receives literally hundred of examples of numskull bollocks such as this and the overwhelming majority of them aren't even deemed worthy of investigation.
An ex-Scum of the World journalist will not be prosecuted over the alleged intimidation of a witness, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced. Neville Thurlbeck was arrested in March over the claims relating to Scotland Yard's phone-hacking inquiry. The CPS said that it would take no action over the harassment allegations which related to a blog posting he posted. Thurlbeck currently remains on bail in relation to voicemail interception following his arrest in last April. His blog on 7 March gave the home address of a member of News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee. Alison Levitt QC, the top legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, confirmed that no action would be taken over the blog. She added: 'Given that the journalist in question remains on bail for further offences we do not intend to give any further information at this point. Thurlbeck remains on police bail on suspicion of offences under Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.' Sunderland-born Thurlbeck was a former chief reporter at the disgraced and disgraceful tabloid, which was closed down last year in shame and ignominy because of the phone-hacking scandal. Thurlbeck was behind stories including disclosures about ex-Formula 1 boss Max Mosley's sex life and allegations that David Beckham had an affair. Thurlbeck is a prominent figure in the phone-hacking saga, as the Neville referred to in the so-called 'For Neville' e-mail. That e-mail was sent by a junior Scum of the World reporter to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2008, containing the illegally obtained transcripts of voicemails belonging to football union boss Gordon Taylor.

The vile and odious rascal Hunt has said that he will hand over all correspondence with his special adviser over the BSkyB takeover bid to the Leveson Inquiry amid pressure for a separate probe into his conduct. The lack of culture secretary said the details would 'vindicate' his position that he had acted with 'total integrity.' Several Lib Dems have urged a specific inquiry into whether the vile and odious rascal Hunt breached the ministerial code of conduct. Downing Street has said there are 'no plans' for this to happen. On Wednesday, the vile and odious rascal Hunt's special adviser Adam Smith resigned over what he admitted was 'an inappropriately close relationship' with News Corporation during its planned takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB. The vile and odious rascal Hunt has insisted he did not know about 'the extent and tone of the contact' between Smith and the media giant and that he, the vile and odious rascal Hunt, acted impartially throughout the bid process. But, under the ministerial code of conduct, the vile and odious rascal Hunt is, himself, responsible for the actions of his special advisers - a fact which has fuelled calls for a separate inquiry into his conduct. Labour have been pressing for the vile and odious rascal Hunt to release details of all texts and e-mails between himself and Smith regarding the bid. The lack of culture secretary said on Friday that he would make them available to the Leveson inquiry into press ethics ahead of his appearance there next month. 'I am confident they will vindicate the position that I handled the BSkyB merger process with total integrity,' he told the BBC. There have been growing calls for the prime minister's independent adviser on ministerial interests, Sir Alex Allan, to investigate whether there has been any breach of the ministerial code. Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes said he could not understand why the issue was not being referred immediately to the independent watchdog. Former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott suggested to Sky News that Hughes' views were 'widely shared' in the party although no government ministers - Liberal or otherwise - have yet endorsed this. Hughes told the BBC's Question Time programme on Thursday: 'What I cannot understand is why the matter of the ministerial code of conduct is not something the prime minister immediately should refer to the person who's been given the job to do it. Only the prime minister can do that. He has so far, I gather, resisted doing it. I don't think it gets in the way of the Leveson Inquiry and the evidence - it's a separate matter. I don't know why he hasn't done it but I would have thought, to give confidence in the system, I hope the prime minister reconsiders his view. That must be in Jeremy's interest. If Jeremy is correct in what he's said, he'll be vindicated. If he's not, then he has to take the consequences.' A leading Tory backbencher, Bernard Jenkin - who heads the Commons Public Administration Committee - has said that the case should be referred to the PM's watchdog to determine 'whether there is a case to answer. It is extraordinary that any special adviser should have anything to do with a secretary of state's quasi-judicial role in a matter such as a takeover bid,' he said. 'We have a new Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, and he should demonstrate his independence and advise the prime minister. If he thinks there has been prima facie case of breach of the ministerial code, it should go straight to the independent adviser.' Downing Street have said they are sure the vile and odious rascal Hunt had 'acted properly' and it was a matter for the Leveson Inquiry, not a separate investigation. Plus, he's a nice chap and, like the prime minister, went to a good school so horrible common oiks should leave him alone. But The Times reported that Sir Jeremy Heywood had discussed with Sir Brian Leveson - the Judge conducting the inquiry - whether the conduct of the vile and odious rascal Hunt and his special adviser would be addressed in his final report. The newspaper claimed that 'sources' have told them that it was 'perfectly possible' that it would not be included. It would be up to Leveson to decide whether to publish the correspondence between the vile and odious rascal Hunt and his adviser. Details of the contact between Smith and News Corp emerged in a series of e-mails seen by the Leveson Inquiry. Former Conservative leader Lord Howard told the BBC on Friday that everyone should 'calm down' and wait for the vile and odious rascal Hunt's appearance at Leveson and the inquiry's final report. And, employment minister Chris Grayling told Question Time that people had only heard 'half the story. We've got a collection of e-mails released by a [News Corp] PR man to his bosses - which we know contain plenty of spin because they suggest that he had had meetings and discussions with Jeremy Hunt that he now accepts he hadn't had,' he said. 'That's the only evidence out there.' Labour have called for an independent probe into the vile and odious rascal Hunt's conduct, saying it was impossible to believe that Smith had 'acted as a lone wolf' (or, indeed, 'a single rouge ... wolf') in communications with News Corp.

An alliance of media groups opposed to News Corporation's takeover of BSkyB claim that they was blocked from engaging with the vile and odious rascal Hunt and his officials for more than three months, and were only granted a single 'sham' meeting with the lack of culture secretary three weeks after he had already given his provisional blessing to the eight billion smackers offer. The treatment of the alliance – a somewhat unlikely united front of Fleet Street rivals, including the publishers of the Gruniad Morning Star, Daily Torygraph, Daily Scum Mail and Daily Mirra – has been thrown into the spotlight following the revelation earlier this week that the vile and odious rascal Hunt's office was in regular contact with a News Corp lobbyist while the Sky bid was being scrutinised by his Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Labour has called for the vile and odious rascal Hunt to resign after the Leveson inquiry published more than one hundred and sixty pages of e-mails and texts between News Corp's European public affairs director, Frédéric Michel, and his boss, James Murdoch the small, detailing apparently extensive contact between the culture secretary's office and the lobbyist. This occurred at a time when the vile and odious rascal Hunt was considering the company's eight billion quid bid for the 60.9 per cent of BSkyB it did not already own. A senior executive involved in the alliance said: 'The issue is not if people are lobbying – everyone does – but it is about a level playing field and it is clear from what has emerged that we were treated entirely differently. At the time we felt pushed away, held offside, I would go as far as to say we were blocked. We were not getting the access we should have but I'm absolutely astonished at what we now know.' The vile and odious rascal Hunt has called into question the accuracy of some of the claims made in Michel's correspondence and in a Commons statement on Wednesday insisted he had acted impartially and was unaware of 'the volume and tone' of Smith's contacts with News Corp. 'The secretary of state has also made clear that he will respond fully to allegations on his conduct and that of the department when he presents evidence to Lord Justice Leveson,' said a spokeswoman for the DCMS. 'The secretary of state consulted all parties and gave close consideration to the arguments presented at every stage in reaching his decisions. As he has made clear, he took and followed independent advice from the regulators throughout the process.' Michel's correspondence between June 2010 and July 2011, when News Corp abandoned its Sky takeover at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, suggested that he had something of a hotline to the vile and odious rascal Hunt's special adviser Adam Smith. Smith resigned on Wednesday after admitting that his communications with Michel 'at times went too far.' The vile and odious rascal Hunt's office gave News Corp details of the alliance's key submission in March 2011, according to Michel's e-mails. The submission was the result of almost a year of work put together by law firm Slaughter & May, detailing arguments against allowing News Corp to take full control Sky. Michel was apparently forwarded the document a day before the vile and odious rascal Hunt's only meeting with the alliance, on 24 March last year, in order to obtain 'critical views to help him forge his arguments.' The meeting, more than three months after the vile and odious rascal Hunt took control of making the decision on the bid from Cable on 21 December 2010, also came more than three weeks after he had already given provisional approval to News Corporation's proposed deal, provided Sky News was spun off into a separate publicly listed company to assuage concerns over plurality. 'When we walked into the room you could hardly see Hunt in the phalanx of lawyers, staff and advisers – there must have been twelve to fifteen of them,' said an alleged 'source' with knowledge of the meeting. 'Any question we asked we were told again and again that he couldn't talk because of commercial sensitives. The meeting felt like a charade. Now it appears that the entire process was a charade. You spend a year of your life over something so important to the industry and it is a sham.' The alliance officially registered its opposition to the Sky takeover on 8 October 2010 with a letter to business secretary Vince Cable, although members of the group had independently been vociferous in opposing the deal since News Corporation's bid emerged in June. The alliance included Torygraph Media Group, Trinity Mirra, Daily Scum Mail & General Trust, Gruniad Media Group and BT. When the vile and odious Hunt was officially put in charge of making the decision on News Corp's bid after responsibility was taken away from Cable following his comment to undercover reporters about declaring war on Rupert Murdoch, the lack of culture secretary cancelled a meeting scheduled with the alliance for 22 December deciding that it was 'not appropriate', according to 'an alliance source.' 'From that point on we found it very difficult to find out anything at all – process, timing, let alone a meeting with anyone,' said a 'second source with knowledge of the alliance's dealings' with the vile and odious rascal Hunt's department. 'We never met an adviser, the only contact was with civil servants and lawyers. The only contact with officials was about timetabling and even that was like pulling teeth. Yet the other side were quite clearly getting privileged access all the way through the process.' When Hunt the vile and odious rascal was put in charge of the bid, on 21 December, James Murdoch the small phoned him immediately, as he now admits. After that, direct contact between the vile and odious rascal Hunt, Murdoch and Michel stopped. However, Smith and Michel continued to have regular contact. According to Michel's e-mails, they allegedly discussed how to tackle a negative Ofcom report on plurality issues and the plan to spin-off Sky News as a remedy to push the deal through. An email on 23 January, from Michel to Matthew Anderson, James Murdoch the small's most senior PR executive, claimed that the vile and odious rascal Hunt's office believed the Sky News spin-off meant it was 'almost game over for the opposition.' In another 23 January e-mail to Murdoch, Michel claimed the vile and odious rascal Hunt's office was 'keen for me to work with his team' on a Commons statement the lack of culture secretary was making and to 'offer some possible language.' However, letters to the vile and odious rascal Hunt from the alliance's lawyers in January and February complaining about the way the process was being handled and issues with fair access were vigorously rebutted. 'The secretary of state is committed to reaching a decision in a fair and even-handed way,' ran a written response by the DCMS to one alliance letter. The response to a second letter to the vile and odious rascal Hunt said that the alliance will have a 'full and fair opportunity to comment' on any undertakings that the vile and odious rascal Hunt puts forward in relation to News Corp's bid. 'It is unclear what the benefit would be of introducing a prior stage of comment for your clients on proposals in relation to which the secretary of state has not reached a view. Proper and meaningful consultation does not require multiple iterations of comment throughout a decision-making process,' the letter stated.

Rupert Murdoch's been facing some troubles lately (putting it lightly), and on Thursday night in America, Jon Stewart tackled the media magnate's scandal head on on The Daily Show. And then connected him to another billionaire tyrant Donald Trump. Murdoch, Stewart said, 'known as Yahoo, finds himself still in a spot of trouble in Great Britain, simply because several of his newspapers hacked the phones of celebrities, politicians, a thirteen-year-old murder victim, and the relatives of some killed in action British Soldiers and allegedly bribed Scotland Yard detectives to help with the cover-up.' Stewart then proceeded to thoroughly mock the answers Murdoch's provided during questioning. Is he responsible? No. So who is? 'The people that I trusted to run it and then maybe the people they trusted,' Murdoch responded. 'My God!' Stewart said. 'This scandal goes all the way to the bottom!' He then moved on to Murdoch saying it's a myth that he 'used the influence, the supposed political power, to get favourable treatment.' Stewart asked, 'Do you mean that as in it's a fanciful way of explaining things that are hard to explain, or that it's a story about how grotesquely powerful beings assume various forms to fuck mortals?' Noting Murdoch's connection even to David Cameron, Stewart added, 'In the States we're not allowed to give Congress people T-shirts and hats, and our country's corrupt as shit!' Murdoch's defence, Stewart said, seems to be that he's no 'evil genius Randolph Hearst-type figure, I'm like the Australian Mr Magoo.' Meanwhile, Trump was also giving a testimony in the UK this week, regarding a wind turbine being built off the coast of a goal resort he bought. You see the difference? 'Here's Murdoch: "Hey, mate, I did have a dinner, but yeah, maybe they were there. I don't remember," Stewart said. 'And here's Trump: "We colluded on this! What are you doing?!"'

Advisers to News Corporation shareholders say that they are 'deeply troubled' by the performances of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch and his son, Murdoch the small at the Leveson inquiry into media ethics. according to the Gruniad Morning Star. They report, gleefully, that US shareholders are 'said to be worried that the Murdochs' testimony this week has raised new questions about the management of the company and posed potential threats to other areas of its media empire.' Michael Pryce-Jones, senior policy analyst with Change To Win, a US advisory group that works with pension funds with over two hundred billion dollars in assets, said that the Murdochs' testimony raised 'two immediate concerns' for shareholders: the future of the firm's control of broadcaster BSkyB and the ethics of top management. 'The big question is what does this mean for BSkyB,' he said. 'Sky is one of their best assets.' News Corp owns about thirty nine per cent of the broadcaster and only the phone-hacking scandal at the Scum of The World derailed billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's plans for a full takeover. Broadcast watchdog Ofcom is currently conducting an investigation into whether News Corp leadership meets it criteria of 'fit and proper' owners of a UK broadcaster. Or, indeed, fit and proper persons to run a piss up in a brewery. If the company fails the test it may be forced to sell all or, at the very least, the majority of its shareholding. 'Ofcom is going to be looking very carefully at what happened this week,' said Pryce-Jones. 'It has to increase the risk for shareholders.' Nonetheless News Corp shares rose during the three days of testimony, rising 0.7 per cent on Thursday. A spokesman for Pirc, a research and governance specialist which advises pension funds, was particularly concerned about the on-going investigation by Ofcom. 'It demonstrates that shareholders have to take a view on the governance and ethics of News Corp and its board. It is having a knock on effect on BSkyB, a major FTSE 100 company.' James Murdoch the small was chairman of Sky but stood down earlier this month. He is still a non-executive director. Pirc believes that Ofcom's own reputation is on the line if it doesn't take at least some action in respect of News Corp. 'Otherwise, critics will ask, how badly does a company have to behave in order to fall foul of the regulator?' Pryce-Jones said the testimony had also further damaged the Murdochs' personal reputation in the eyes of shareholders. A majority of independent shareholders voted for the removal of Murdoch the small at the company's last annual general meeting, but billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch easily saw off a vote to have him replaced by an independent chairman. 'More and more the focus of this inquiry is on Rupert,' Pryce-Jones said. 'He pleaded ignorant on so many issues. Shareholders need to know if he is being honest with them.' He continued that 'the big fear' in the US would be that revelations of the companies overly close ties with UK politicians would spark similar investigations into News Corp's ties with America's political elite. 'FOX News is one of their best assets. They've got their partisan stance. It's got to have credibility,' he said. Father Seamus Finn, of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Governance, who represented dissident shareholders at last year's News Corp annual meeting, said that he had been 'deeply troubled' by the testimony. 'They are constantly pulling back layer after layer of really damning information,' he said. 'I can't believe that as more and more of this comes out that it won't impact what shareholders in the US are going to do. Especially those who have strong opinions on corporate governance and ethics. This testimony goes to the heart of the issues I raised with Mr Murdoch at the AGM. What keeps coming up is the culture that was allowed to develop within News Corp and was adopted by so many employees and led them down this path.' Finn said in his conversations with the company he had been 'given assurances' that changes were going to be made at the board level ahead of this year's shareholder vote on re-electing executives.

Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch has explained how an audition recorded on his mobile phone landed him the role of the as-yet-unnamed villain in the upcoming Star Trek sequel (due for release in May next year). The audition tape, which director JJ Abrams called 'one of the most compelling audition readings I'd ever seen', was the result of a frantic dash by Cumberbatch and his best friend, Adam, to film something they could e-mail to the Star Trek franchise runner just after Christmas. 'I couldn't get any kind of recording device,' Cumberbatch told the New York Times. 'I said, "I'm going to do it on my iPhone. It's high quality, it's HD. It will be fine.' So I ended up squatting in [my friends'] kitchen, at about eleven o'clock at night. I was pretty strung out, so that went into the performance.' And, while Benny's friends provided a makeshift studio in their kitchen, the actor had to make sure not to wake their sleeping children. 'They had two children asleep - they've got enough on their plate without this actor in a crisis in their kitchen - and she's balancing two chairs to get the right angle on me and desk lamps bouncing light off bits of paper, just trying desperately to make it look half decent. Because it's going to go into JJ Abrams' iPad. So we did it, and then it took a day and a half to compress it. I sent it to him, and then I got told, "JJ's on holiday."'  Cumberbatch admitted to having been 'furious' at the news - but the feeling was short-lived: 'The day after New Year's Day, he just sent me an e-mail, going, "You want to come and play?" I said, "What does this mean? Are you in town, you want to go for a drink? I'm English, you've got to be really straight with me on this. Have I got the part?"'

Doctor Who star Karen Gillan has discussed her hopes for roles after leaving the show later this year. Speaking to Doctor Who Adventures in this week's issue of the magazine, Gillan commented: 'I'd definitely love to do more sci-fi - it's really fun.' Co-star Arthur Darvill added: 'But having done the best one it's kind of hard to know what it would be. I'd love to come back as a monster or something!' Gillan responded: 'Yeah, I wanna be an alien! No one will ever know. I'll be the one that's facing the wrong way.'

Meanwhile, yer actual Matt Smith his very self is to take part in a Disney TV show aimed at introducing poetry to young audiences. The twenty nine-year-old will perform one of the readings on A Poem Is, a 'short-form' series which twins celebrity poetry recitals with classic Disney animation. Smith will read Once They All Believed in Dragons by Jack Prelutsky, the first US Children's Poet Laureate. The actor, who is currently filming his third Doctor Who series, said he had 'always had an enthusiasm for poetry. It is so vital to my art to have an understanding and appreciation for classic literature,' he went on. According to the actor, A Poem Is offers 'a whole new generation of young minds a way of learning and sharing poetry. The fact that it's set to some of the most iconic Disney animations just makes the whole experience so enjoyable.' Richard Briers, David Walliams and Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery will also loan their voices to the show, which begins on 30 April on the Disney Junior UK cable channel. Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg, Kenneth Branagh and Owen Wilson are among the performers who have contributed to previous editions.

Jeremy Clarkson and his wife have lost a long running legal battle in a dispute over public access to a path near their Isle of Man home. The Top Gear presenter and his wife, Frances, claimed having a public path so close to their lighthouse property breached their human rights. A court judgement in the Isle of Man on 26 April ruled against the claim. Deemster David Doyle came down in favour of the 'rights and freedoms' of the general public to walk in the Langness area. The ruling said that although everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life, the footpath would remain in place as recommended in a recent public inquiry. The probe came after ramblers complained Clarkson had diverted a path on the Langness peninsula in the south of the Isle of Man. Inquiry inspector Roy Hickey found 'strong and persuasive evidence' had been put forward by members of the public that they had the right to use the path. He said all of the paths on Langness, apart from five, should be dedicated as public rights of way. Mrs Clarkson said the couple would not be making any comment about the decision.Apart from 'bugger', presumably.

The cameras will go into the dressing room at Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws FC as part of a forthcoming fly-on-the-wall documentary about the club, reports the Daily Lies. 'This will be an amazing opportunity for our fans to see a new side of the club,' said chairman Tom Werner. Manager Kenny Dalglish will be hoping it doesn't do for him what Channel Four's infamous Cutting Edge documentary about the England football team did for the national side's then-manager the hapless turnip Graham Taylor in 1994. Because, we're all sure he really would not like that. Cheerful, sunny, laugh-a-minute Kenny will also, probably, be hoping that it doesn't do for him what BBC1's 1998 five part series, Premier Passions, a similar fly-on-the-wall conceit at Sunderland FC did for then-Blunderland boss, Peter Reid (and his monkey's heed). Because we're absolutely [expletive deleted] certain that [expletive deleted] Kenny [expletive deleted] Dalglish wouldn't [expletive deleted] enjoy [expletive deleted] that. No [expletive deleted] way.

Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen has been cast in new BBC1 thriller Mayday. The actor, who plays Littlefinger in the HBO series, will appear alongside the likes of Sophie Okonedo, Peter Firth and Lesley Manville in the five-part drama from the writers of Whitechapel. Mayday focuses on the disappearance of a young girl from an idyllic community, which prompts neighbours and friends to suspect each other of wrongdoing. Gillen will portray a single father named Everitt, while Okonedo has been cast as a mother-turned-spy. Firth will star as a community leader, with Manville playing his wife. Ben Stephenson, controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: '[Writers] Ben Court and Caroline Ip have crafted a gripping thriller that takes us behind the scenes of a murder and examines the impact a devastating crime has on an ordinary neighbourhood.' Jane Featherstone, chief executive of Mayday producers Kudos Film and Television, said: 'Mayday has attracted a brilliant cast and takes an original look at a familiar story. "There are no police incident rooms, autopsies or crime scene investigations, instead this is about a town facing the reality that the killer is among them, one of them.' Mayday is directed by Black Mirror's Brain Welsh and produced by Chris Fry of [spooks].

Channel Four has commented on the prolonged absence of New Girl from its schedule. The Zooey Deschanel sitcom has not broadcast a new episode in the UK since the beginning of March, leaving fans questioning when the remainder of its first season will be broadcast. Speaking to the Digital Spy website, a spokesperson for Channel Four explained that New Girl has been on hiatus in order for 'additional content to premiere. It will be back, but it hasn't been officially scheduled yet so [we] can't be specific [on] dates,' the representative said. 'We know you guys love New Girl and we love it too. The mid-season break is simply to allow for additional Channel Four content to premiere. Jess (Deschanel) and the guys will be back later in the year, when New Girl will play out in full.' New Girl was renewed for a second season by US broadcaster Fox earlier this month.'

A man has been arrested after London's Tottenham Court Road was evacuated amid reports of a bomb threat. Police were called just before noon after computer equipment and office furniture was thrown from the fifth floor of an office building. Witnesses claimed there were hostages however police said no hostages were in the building when the forty nine-year-old man was arrested. Negotiators had been brought as police attempted to arrest the man. Witnesses reported seeing a shirtless man in 'green Army trousers' being led away. The Metropolitan Police said officers were carrying out a search of Shropshire House, the building the man entered, and the surrounding area and would be there until they were sure it was safe to reopen it. Commander Mak Chishty said police had been concerned the man may have had explosive or flammable liquids. An internal e-mail sent within Camden Council, seen by the BBC, had earlier described the incident as 'a hostage situation. Hostages have been ordered to throw computers from the window by the suspect,' it said. Ben Dunn, who works in a building opposite, said: 'The people who were throwing things out of the window were shouting, "We are being forced to do this."' Tottenham Court Road was evacuated while Goodge Street and Warren Street Tube stations were closed as a precaution. Eight bus routes were also diverted. The Metropolitan Police said the man had a grievance against the company. He is said to have stormed Advantage Training Services, a company which offers HGV courses. In a video posted on YouTube by The Huffington Post UK news website, which is based in a nearby office, Abby Baafi, who works at the HGV company, said: 'I recognised him because he was one of our previous customers. He turned up, strapped up with gasoline cylinders, and threatened to blow up the office. He doesn't care about anything, he is going to blow up everybody. He was specifically looking for me but I said "My name's not Abby" and he let me go.' Quality bit of lying there, Abs. Joaqam Ramus, who works at nearby Cafe Fresco, said before being evacuated: 'There was talk of a bomb and somebody having a hostage in a building. All Tottenham Court Road is closed and so are we - the police told us to shut.' Vivien Fluskin, who works for an architectural company in the Heal's building a few buildings down, said: 'We were the last building to be evacuated and they told us to move really quickly. We could see riot police and mounted police.' A sensible precaution since horses are really good at defusing bombs. Allegedly. 'There are about one hundred people from my building who have been moved. We've been told we probably won't be able to go back again today. Colleagues of mine saw a man throwing computer equipment from a building.' Tamsin Kelly, who works at the location, said two men ran into the building and said the man had a flamethrower and canisters of gas. She added that the two men said they had been let go as they were parents and were told to leave the building. Leon Farrell, a product manager who works for AOL in Capper Street, just off Tottenham Court Road, said: 'Someone ran in to our office white as a sheet and said there was someone who had taken a few people hostage but let them go as they had kids.' Publicist David Cox, who works in an adjacent building, said: 'There was a guy chucking stuff out of the window - there seemed to be computers and some furniture and then papers.'

Fast-food giant KFC has been ordered to pay over eight million Australian dollars to the family of an girl left severely brain damaged after being poisoned by a chicken meal. Monika Samaan fell ill with salmonella poisoning after eating a 'Twister' wrap at a KFC restaurant near Sydney in 2005. The poisoning left her wheelchair-bound and unable to speak. Actually, you know, come to think of it, yer actual Keith Telly Topping had some popcorn chicken and fries at KFC a couple of days ago and he's been feeling a bit queer ever since. Hope it isn't anything serious. KFC said that it was 'deeply disappointed' by the decision and would appeal. A judge of the Supreme Court of the state of New South Wales awarded the damages after ruling last week that KFC had breached its 'duty of care' to the girl. The family's lawyer, George Vlahakis, said they were 'relieved' by the decision. And, rich, as well. Important side point. Mucho wonga in the area. I'm not saying it's undeserved, mind, far from it but, it's a point worth making I feel. 'Monika's severe brain damage and severe disability has already exhausted the very limited resources of the family,' he said. 'Monika is now a big girl and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lift her and to look after her basic needs as well as look after Monika's younger siblings. The compensation ordered is very much needed. KFC have to date been determined that Monika does not receive a cent.' KFC, which is owned by Yum! Brands, expressed 'surprise' at the judge's ruling, insisting the evidence 'did not show' it caused Monika's disability. The judge, it would appear, did not agree with this assessment. And, after all, he's in charge. KFC has indicated it will appeal. 'We feel deeply for Monika and the Samaan family. However, we also have a responsibility to defend KFC's reputation as a provider of safe, high-quality food,' a company manager said.  Hang on, 'high-quality food'? I mean, don't get me wrong, I like a zinger and hot wings as much as the next obese forty eight year old, but even I'd struggle to describe them as 'high-quality' or anything even remotely like it. The court was told that Monika was in a coma for six months after she, her parents and brother fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea after sharing the wrap, the AAP news agency reports. The other family members all recovered eventually. The family's lawyer told the court that at busy times, the restaurant would reuse chicken that had been dropped on the floor.

Bob Dylan is to receive America's highest civilian honour, the Medal Of Freedom, it has been announced. He is being recognised alongside former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, John Glenn, the third American in space and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. President Obama will award the medals at the White House in the coming weeks. In a statement, the president said: 'They've challenged us, they've inspired us and they've made the world a better place.' Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on 24 May 1941 and began his musical career in 1959, playing in coffee houses in Minnesota. He moved to New York in 1960 and took his stage name from the poet Dylan Thomas and, not coincidentally, paid as much attention to his lyrics as his music. Much of his best-known work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal historian of America's troubles. Songs like 'Blowin' In The Wind' and 'The Times They Are A-Changin' became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. His move away from traditional folk songwriting, paired with a controversial decision to 'go electric' proved equally influential - his confessional, introspective lyrics were undoubtedly absorbed by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in their later work.  He continues to record and tour, expanding his horizons with a US radio show (syndicated on Radio 2 and BBC 6Music in the UK) and a recently-signed six-book publishing deal. Morrison has become renowned for her portrayal of the African-American experience in novels such as Song Of Solomon and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Born Chloe Anthony Wofford, in 1931 in Ohio, she went on to become a senior editor at publishers Random House before pursuing her writing career. Outside of novels, she has written literary criticism and even lyrics for operas, including Honey and Rue, with music by Andre Previn, Once asked by a student who she wrote for, Morrison replied: 'I want to write for people like me, which is to say black people, curious people, demanding people. People who can't be faked, people who don't need to be patronised, people who have very, very high criteria.' Albright, meanwhile, was born in Prague - in what was then Czechoslovakia, and was the first woman to hold the top diplomatic post in the US.

Musicians, friends and fans travelled to Woodstock on Thursday to pay their last respects to Levon Helm, who died of cancer last week. The memorial was held at the barn where the drummer for The Band used to hold informal Saturday night concerts. The wake was attended by almost two thousand, according to the school bus company which shuttled mourners to the wooded grounds of Helm's home and studio. Helm's closed casket was flanked by his drum kit and a piano. Roland Mousaa, a folk musician who performed with Bob Dylan and other artists at Woodstock, said that the performer had been 'so down to earth. The greatness of Levon Helm was the impact he had on people,' Mousaa continued. The Band famously toured with Dylan in 1965, 1966, 1969 and 1974 and appeared with him in Martin Scorsese's 1978 concert film The Last Waltz. Helm went on to tour with Ringo Starr's All Starr Band in the 1980s and enjoyed solo success with such LPs as Dirt Farmer, Electric Dirt and Ramble at the Ryman. Born in Arkansas in 1940, the singer and drummer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and died on 19 April at a New York hospital. After a private funeral on Friday he will be buried in Woodstock Cemetery next to Rick Danko, The Band's bassist who died in 1999.

And, so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader. Here's The Young Dame her very self, with a happy song for the weekend.

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