Thursday, April 26, 2012

If You Know What I Mean

News Corp chairman and billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch has told the Leveson Inquiry that Gordon Brown was 'not in a balanced state of mind' when he 'declared war' on billionaire tyrant Murdoch's company. Murdoch, eighty one, claimed that the then-prime minister called him after the Sun moved back to supporting their old pals in the Conservative Party in 2009 after twelve years of, broadly, backing New Labour. Murdoch quoted Brown as saying: 'Well, your company has declared war on my government and we have no alternative but to make war on your company.' Brown has since issued a denial saying that it is 'wholly wrong' to suggest that such a conversation ever took place.
Brown said he did not phone, meet, or write to Murdoch about the Sun's decision to support the Conservatives. 'The only phone call I had with Mr Murdoch in the last year of my time in office was a phone call specifically about Afghanistan and his newspaper's coverage of the war,' he said. 'I hope Mr Murdoch will have the good grace to correct his account.' So, clearly, either Brown is lying or billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch is. Hmm ... which one to believe? There's only one way to sort this out, dear blog reader. Murdoch claimed that he had 'frequently' met Tony Blair when he was prime minister. The media mogul and billionaire tyrant said that he regarded Blair as 'a personal friend' and enjoyed speaking to him before, during and after his time as prime minister. Blair's thought on his alleged friendship with billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch are, as yet, unknown. Although, to be fair, he has had some bloody strange friends in his time. In a written statement to Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into media ethics, billionaire tyrant Murdoch recalled the then-Labour leader speaking 'convincingly about the ability of a new Labour Party to energise Britain' at a News Corp conference in 1995. 'Mr Blair did not expressly request our support in 1995, 1997 or any other election, but he was a politician and I had no doubt that he would welcome the support of our newspapers and our readers,' billionaire tyrant Murdoch said. 'I want to say that I, in ten years of his power, never asked Mr Blair for anything. Nor indeed did I receive any favours. If you want to check that, I think you should call him.' One had no doubt that Lord Justice Leveson intends to do just that. Meanwhile, the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt's special adviser Adam Smith has quit after billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's son James on Tuesday revealed details of contacts between Smith and senior figures at News Corp, while the firm was bidding to take control of BSkyB. But the vile and odious rascal Hunt himself has rejected calls for him to resign, telling the Commons he had 'strictly followed due process' in overseeing the bid. One or two of them even believed him. In his written statement, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch said that he had first met David Cameron, who was then Leader of the Opposition, at a family picnic at his daughter's country home. They did not discuss politics as they were surrounded by children, Murdoch claimed. Cameron visited billionaire tyrant Murdoch at his offices in Wapping 'some time later' at the Tory leader's request. Murdoch said: 'Mr Cameron, since his election as prime minister, I have met principally in social settings, where little of substance was discussed.' Story of David Cameron's life, that - Eton, Oxford, the Home Office, working for ITV, the Commons. very little of substance discussed at any of those. The News Corp chairman and billionaire tyrant claimed that he could not remember meeting Cameron on a yacht near the Greek island of Santorini in August 2008, but said that his wife, Wendi The Karate Kid, could. Counsel to the inquiry Robert Jay QC asked Murdoch if he had discussed policy such as broadcasting regulations with Cameron. 'Mr Jay, you keep inferring that endorsements were motivated by business motives and if that had been the case we would have endorsed the Conservative Party in every election,' billionaire tyrant said with a look on his mush that minor Bond villains usually have shortly before declaring that they are 'surrounded by incompetents.' 'I didn't,' he continued. 'I was interested in issues. I want to put it to bed once and for all, [it] is a complete myth that I used the influence of the Sun or the supposed political power to get favourable treatment.' Billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch said that the perception of his influence over politicians 'irritated' him. Which is probably just as well because, since July, he's now got fuck all influence over politicians, real or imaginary. Nobody's scared of you any more, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch. Which is nice. 'I think it's a myth. And, everything I do every day I think proves it to be such. Have a look at - well it's not a problem - but how I treat Mayor Bloomberg in New York - sends him crazy. But, we support him every time he runs for re-election.' Billionaire tyrant Murdoch also denied ever discussing with Cameron News Corp's bid for the sixty one per cent of BSkyB that it did not own. He said there was 'no link' in his mind between his support for the Conservatives and News Corp's bid. Murdoch claimed he had 'no strong feelings' over the Scottish National Party - despite the Sun in Scotland backing them in the last general election. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch denied that any 'deal had been done' with the party's leader, Alex Salmond, who he said was 'an amusing guy' with whom he had 'a warm relationship.' The inquiry on Tuesday considered claims made in an e-mail from a senior News Corp figure suggesting that Salmond would call the vile and odious rascal Hunt 'whenever we need him to.' Salmond himself has furiously denied any wrongdoing over the BSkyB takeover bid, saying he would be 'delighted' to appear before the Leveson Inquiry. Don't worry, matey, you'll get your chance. Earlier, billionaire tyrant Murdoch denied 'asking or being offered' any favours when he met then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at a lunch in 1981, at the same time his company was buying The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers. He admitted he was 'a great admirer' of the mad old milk snatcher, whom the Sun supported in the 1979 general election and then spent the next decade rimming at every given opportunity. Jay suggested that billionaire tyrant Murdoch wanted to show Thatcher that he had the will to take on the unions over his bid for The Times. But the media mogul and billionaire tyrant replied: 'I didn't have the will to crush the unions, I might have had the desire, but that took several years.' Asked about the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World, which was forced to close in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, billionaire tyrant Murdoch claimed that he was 'sorry to say' he 'never much interfered' with it. Murdoch claimed that he 'tried very hard' to set an example of ethical behaviour and made it clear he expected it. He said that he did not believe in using hacking or private detectives because it was a 'lazy way of reporters not doing their job.' But he added: 'I think it is fair when people have themselves held up as iconic figures or great actors that they be looked at.' In his witness statement to the inquiry, billionaire tyrant Murdoch also confirmed that News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee was 'co-operating' with the US Department of Justice. The news comes after reports that investigations into phone-hacking allegations could extend to the US authorities.

Murdoch also told the Leveson inquiry that the Sun's notorious 1992 general election headline, It's the Sun wot won it, was 'tasteless and wrong.' And also, shockingly bad English into the bargain. The News Corporation billionaire tyrant, claimed it was 'likely' that he reprimanded the Sun's editor at the time, Kelvin MacKenzie, for publishing the headline on 11 April 1992, the day John Major won an unexpected election victory over Labour. The headline has gone down in UK newspaper folklore and is regularly cited in debates about how much, or how little, influence the press has over politicians and election results. When Robert Jay asked whether he appreciated the Sun's front page, Murdoch replied: 'No. I understand Mr MacKenzie said I gave him a terrible bollocking. My son, who is here today, says I did, indeed, give him a hell of a bollocking.' Sadly, without kicking the odious, shit-stirring MacKenzie, hard, in the actual bollocks themselves, it would seem. Jay suggested Murdoch would not have approved because the headline suggested newspapers were powerful and anti-democratic. 'Anti-democratic is too strong a word,' Murdoch responded. 'It was tasteless and wrong for us. We don't have that sort of power.' Murdoch admitted that the Sun's support for the Labour party prior to the 1997 election would have required his approval but denied seeking favours from the Labour leader Tony Blair in exchange for his papers' support. Asked by Jay if the transaction was more 'subtle' than that, Murdoch replied: 'I'm afraid I don't have much subtlety about me. I have no commercial interests except the newspapers. I love newspapers.' Asked if he regretted his papers' personal attacks on the Labour leader Neil Kinnock during the 1987 election campaign, Murdoch claimed that the Sun was 'entitled' to attack him as he was the 'personification of the Labour party. If there were personal attacks on Mr Kinnock I would apologise for them. I don't really remember them,' he added. 'It was fair to attack his policies and even sometimes the way he expressed himself. I thought the Sun's front page on the eve of the election [the infamous Would the last person leaving the country turned out the light if Labour wins malarkey] was absolutely brilliant. We would have supported the Labour party if it had a different policy.' Against your beloved Thatcher? Yeah. Sure. Billionaire tyrant Murdoch also said that his papers could not countenance supporting a party which sought to implement the terms of Clause Four of its constitution, guaranteeing 'common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.' He also told the inquiry he had 'no memory' of urging The Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil not to 'go overboard' in his paper's attacks on Margaret Thatcher because of the company's debt to her. Murdoch said that he did not support the use of private detectives or phone-hacking because it was a tactic employed by 'lazy' reporters. Asked by Leveson about alleged invasions of privacy by his tabloid newspapers and whether he drew a distinction between people who are in public life and people such as actors and writers 'who are simply rather good at what they do', Murdoch defended his newspapers. 'A lot of these people are very big in the lives of ordinary people, big television stars, film stars, and, of course, I must include politicians,' he said. 'If we are getting into the issue of privacy, people with public responsibilities, I would even include press proprietors in that. I don't think they are entitled to the same privacy as the ordinary man in the street. If we are going to have a transparent society let's have everything out there.' He added that politicians came into the category of people whose lives ought to be scrutinised by the press and cited the Daily Torygraph's exposé of the MPs' expenses scandal as an example of this. Murdoch also admitted that he had personally intervened to stop HarperCollins, part of the New Corp group, from publishing the memoirs of former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten in 1998, now the Chairman of the BBC Trust. Murdoch confirmed speculation that he intervened in what was widely considered an attempt to appease the government of China, which was also home to Murdoch's Star satellite TV network. Patten's memoir, which was eventually published by a rival company, proved too critical of China with his accounts of his dealings with Communist leaders over the years. 'I did step in and say don't do it, which I wish to say now, was one more mistake of mine,' Murdoch told the Leveson inquiry. 'It was clearly wrong.' In another admission, billionaire tyrant Murdoch confessed that the editorials of his biggest selling paper, the Sun, always reflected his political views. 'If any politicians wanted my views on any matters they only had to read the editorials of the Sun,' he said in response to questions about whether he discussed political issues such as the Euro or the timing of the UK general election when he stayed at Chequers as a guest of Gordon Brown. However, Murdoch insisted that he only met Tony Blair 'two or three times in a whole year' and denied claims that the former Labour prime minister sought his advice on how to attack the French president, Jacques Chirac, an opponent of the Iraq war. Murdoch will face questions about how he dealt with allegations of criminal behaviour at his newspapers when he returns to the Leveson Inquiry today.

Squirming like a fish on a hotplate, the vile and odious rascal Hunt accused Labour of jumping on a 'political bandwagon' as the opposition lined up to demand he resign over his role in establishing 'a back channel' to feed Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sensitive information. About both his own thinking and that of Ofcom, the independent regulator, on the firm's bid to take over BSkyB. The lack of culture minister, with the 'full support' of the prime minister, said that judgment on his actions 'should await' a ruling by Lord Justice Leveson. In a statement to the Commons, he said that it was a matter 'of great regret' that his special adviser, Adam Smith, had felt forced to resign, but insisted that the vile and odious rascal Hunt himself had 'known nothing' about the 'inappropriate' volume and tone of communications between Smith and News Corp. The vile and odious rascal Hunt said that he believed Smith had 'overstepped the mark unintentionally' and had not believed he was giving anything more than 'advice' on process. 'I believe him to be a man of the utmost integrity and decency,' he said whilst busily shoeing Smith's ass out the back door. The vile and odious rascal Hunt claimed that on 'all the critical decisions' taken by the government concerning the bid by News Corp for BSkyB, he had 'always acted' on the advice of the independent regulators. The prime minister's spokesman said Leveson had called for 'no other inquiries' to be established into the vile and odious rascal Hunt's behaviour pending his own report. The government ruled out asking the independent adviser on ministerial standards, Sir Alex Allen, to conduct an inquiry into whether the vile and odious rascal Hunt had breached the ministerial code. Labour described the decision to await the verdict of Leveson as the 'flimsiest form of defence', adding that Hunt had committed multiple breaches of the ministerial code, and called on David Cameron to 'take responsibility' for the conduct of his ministers. Veteran MP Dennis Skinner amusingly noted that it's always the same 'when posh boys get in trouble. They sack the servant.' Ed Milimolimandi accused Cameron of putting his 'cronies' before country. Mad Hattie Harman, the shadow culture secretary, accused the vile and odious rascal Hunt of misleading MPs about the scale of his contact with News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel. She asked: 'How Fred Michel, in a series of e-mails beginning on 23 January, was in a position to tell [James] Murdoch the full detail of a statement the secretary of state was not going to give to this House until two days later? There can be no doubt that Michel's e-mails accurately, and in detail, described meetings the secretary of state had, and accurately foretold what the secretary of state was going to do. Either Michel was Mystic Meg or he was told.' In response to the latest crisis, the Cabinet Office announced that 'fresh guidance' was being issued to ministers on how they and their advisers should conduct themselves when asked to take quasi-judicial decisions. 'Don't get caught' being, you know, the bottom line. The vile and odious rascal Hunt also gave 'a strong hint' that ministers might in future lose the power to clear media ownership takeovers, instead leaving the issue with independent regulatory authorities. The lack of culture secretary said: 'I took four decisions in this process. Each of those decisions was against what News Corporation wanted.' He said the first of these decisions was to say he was 'minded' to refer the bid to the Competition Commission, which the vile and odious rascal Hunt said was 'not what James Murdoch had wanted.' The vile and odious rascal Hunt said he was also obligated to take undertakings in lieu of any referral to the Competition Commission, but his second decision was to ensure these undertakings were considered by Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading. He said that he also decided to extend the time for consultation and then, following revelations about the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, he asked Ofcom and the OFT to rule on whether the scandal was 'relevant' to the decision on the bid. The vile and odious rascal Hunt claimed that this 'demonstrated' any suggestion he was backing the bid was 'laughable.' I don't see anyone laughing, matey. He added that his permanent secretary, Jonathan Stephens, had cleared his special adviser Smith to 'act as the intermediary with News Corp.' The vile and odious rascal Hunt was largely defended by his backbenchers, but the Speaker, to the visible anger of the prime minister, intervened at one point to stop him making attacks on the opposition and urge him to answer the questions being put to him. The vile and odious rascal Hunt stumbled when he was asked how statements due to be made to The House were 'handed in advance' to News Corp. In a resignation statement, Smith said that his contact with News Corp had been done 'without authorisation from the Secretary of State', and admitted that he 'went too far' in conversations with News Corp lobbyist Fred Michel. 'While it was part of my role to keep News Corporation informed throughout the BSkyB bid process, the content and extent of my contact was done without authorisation from the Secretary of State,' he claimed in a statement released by the vile and odious rascal Hunt's Department for Culture, Media and Sport and not, obviously, written for him. 'I do not recognise all of what Fred Michel said, but nonetheless I appreciate that my activities at times went too far and have, taken together, created the perception that News Corporation had too close a relationship with the department, contrary to the clear requirements set out by Jeremy Hunt and the permanent secretary that this needed to be a fair and scrupulous process. Whilst I firmly believe that the process was in fact conducted scrupulously fairly, as a result of my activities it is only right for me to step down as special adviser to Jeremy Hunt.' Is anybody getting a Watergate vibe off this? Who's going to be the next fall guy wheeled out to take the rap for following orders?

And if you want more rotten news, here's some from Steph Flanders.

US military secrecy over the death of a BBC correspondent shot dead by US forces during a Taliban attack caused 'needless distress' to his family and sparked fears of a cover-up, a report into the shooting has said. They probably didn't do the correspondent himself an awful lot of good either. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, an Afghan national who worked as a BBC stringer in southern Uruzgan province, died when the local radio and television offices where he worked were attacked last July. Khpulwak was shot dead by US soldiers who mistook him for an insurgent when they spotted him hiding in the bathroom of the building, which had been half-destroyed by suicide bombers. Both the Afghan government and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force initially claimed Khpulwak had been killed by the Taliban, despite the questions of family members who retrieved his body. 'Those who saw Omed's body and the place of his death and heard police saying that foreign forces had stormed Radio Television Afghanistan understood there was something wrong with the official account,' the report from the Afghanistan Analysts Network said. But when his family spoke out about suspicions that he had been killed by a foreign soldier instead – based on the state of his body and the bullet casings around it – they 'received death threats in anonymous phone calls', probably from people linked to a local strongman, according to the report. 'Isaf's failure to talk frankly with the media and Afghan population caused needless distress to Omed's family and friends and helped spark suspicions of a cover-up,' said the report's author, Kate Clark. The truth about Khpulwak's death emerged weeks later, when the results of a US investigation were published. A redacted version of the full conclusions was released only after a freedom of information request. Clark's report questions whether US troops did enough to meet their legal obligation to check there were no civilians in the offices, although it acknowledges that the soldier who shot him dead did so 'with a reasonable belief that Omed was a possible suicide bomber.' US troops were told by a local security battalion that there were no civilians in the building, but did not seem to have made further checks, the report said. At least one fellow journalist who reached Khpulwak by phone and tried to get to the offices was turned back by Afghan and NATO forces. The top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, endorsed investigators' recommendations, including those 'that address the need to establish whether civilians are present at the scene of any potential engagement', a conclusion Clark said showed the importance of transparency when operations do go wrong. 'The release of the military investigation has shown how an honest explanation of events can be a positive contribution both to accountability for civilian deaths and to improving the protection of civilians,' the report said.

Former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning has described Matt Smith as 'an education to watch.' The actress, who played Jo Grant in the long-running BBC family SF drama between 1971 and 1973, suggested that her co-star Jon Pertwee would be 'very proud' of his successor. Asked if she is still a fan of the show, Manning replied: 'Ever since Christopher Eccleston came out of that Goddamn box I've loved it. All the new Doctors are brilliant. It's an education to watch [Matt's] beautifully realised physicality as The Doctor. I said to him, "Jon Pertwee would be very proud of what you're doing with this character.'" Manning added that she thought Russell Davies 'absolutely nailed' her character in a 2010 episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which saw her star alongside Smith and the late Elisabeth Sladen. 'It was the first time I'd actually worked with Lis, although we'd already become close friends,' she explained to the Radio Times. 'We had a lot of past with Jon that bonded us. When I was a newbie at conventions, she really helped me through. After she died, I said in an interview she was the quintessential Doctor Who girl. And I really meant it.'

Darcey Bussell has been confirmed as the new judge on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing. Bussell retired as a dancer in 2007 but is still heavily involved with the ballet scene. She will join Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel for Strictly when it returns in the autumn. Bussell has appeared as a guest judge on the show but now joins on a full-time basis to replace greedy talentless bucket of scum Alesha Dixon. Darcey, former principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, said: 'I had such a lovely experience in 2009 when I was a guest judge, that coming on board now feels very natural. Strictly combines quality dance and great entertainment, which is such a positive for everybody involved. I am very excited and really looking forward to being part of the Strictly team.' BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen said: 'Strictly Come Dancing is a real jewel in the crown and I can think of no-one better to join our Strictly judging panel than Darcey, the UK's queen of ballet. Darcey has all the poise and glamour, along with the experience and credentials, to deliver meaningful and insightful critiques of our couples' performances. She's a huge fan of the show and will be a fantastic addition to the Strictly family.' Katie Taylor, head of in-house entertainment at the BBC, added: 'Having previously acted as a guest judge, Darcey is already part of the Strictly family and I couldn't be more thrilled that she's returning to us as our new judge. I know she will sparkle in our ballroom.' Bussell joined the Royal Ballet in 1988, performing as a guest artist with leading international companies, including the New York City Ballet. Born Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pembleton Crittle (no, really), she was awarded the CBE in 2006 and once made a guest appearance as herself in BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley. Bussell replaces Dixon, who was poached earlier this year by Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads to be a judge on ITV show Britain's Got Toilets. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads admitted that he offered odious greed bucket Dixon a panel place based 'seventy-thirty on the fact she was on Strictly and the fact I liked her'- prompting Strictly head judge Goodman to accuse him of being 'spiteful.' Yes. And odious, mean-spirited, sour-faced and with a really small willy. Next.

The appetite for television food shows is as voracious as ever, with BBC2 unveiling a summer of programmes that will include a new series for Nigella Lawson and the return of ratings hit The Great British Bake Off. Nigellissima will see yer actual Lawson (who has her knockers) focus on Italian food inspired by her time spent living in Florence before university. 'There I found my spiritual and gastronomic home. I wanted to make a series about my sort of Italian food,' she said. Lawson's last BBC2 outing drew strong ratings, but did not match those of The Great British Bake Off. A delicious mixture of incredible cakes, supportive criticism and charming competitors, the show attracted more than five million viewers for its finale – defeating arguments that a perceived glut of food television is giving viewers indigestion. Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC2, explained the show's appeal: 'The judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, are quite tough. They're not going to be swayed by your circumstances in some way if your battenberg doesn't work out. It's all about the end product rather than the character delivering it. It's a good natured, but quite a tough process to go through – and the audience really appreciate that. If you win it you're really going to deserve it.' Along with Lawson and Bake Off, the season will see Rick Stein head to India, and chefs Ken Hom and Ching-He Haung explore China together. Meanwhile, the Hairy Bikers – Si King and Dave Myers – will front a show about eating well. Such shows are likely to bring strong audiences for the channel – The Hairy Bikers' Bake-Ation, currently broadcasting, has been attracting audiences of around three million, keen to follow the duo's jolly baking trip around Europe. Hairy Bikers: How to Love Food and Lose Weight will also go someway towards answering critics who say that the nation's love of food programmes has grown at the same time as British waistbands. However, King and Myers won't be changing the way they cook and eat completely. 'They're not going to live on salad,' said Hadlow. 'It's about how to alter your eating habits without making an extreme change.' The BBC2 controller argued that food TV cannot be blamed for Britain's growing weight. 'Our programmes are never about bulk – it tends to be food that is carefully put together. It would be tough to pick on our stuff and say it's encouraging us all to get fat.' She also defended her channel against claims that female cooks fronting television programmes need to be beautiful as well as talented, arguing that shows hosted by women such as Lawson and Lorraine Pascale are also 'strongly characterful. There is a pleasure to be had out of watching a programme that is glossy and lovely, but when [Little Paris Kitchen presenter] Rachel Khoo came along it wasn't her looks that persuaded us, it was the originality of the idea.' Pity the show was such a Christ-awful shower of diarrhoea, then.

This one should be filed under 'near miss.' Just when we thought all that scheduling clash nonsense between BBC1's The Voice and Wee Shughie McFee's Britain's Got Talent had been put behind us, an overlap suddenly loomed large as a result of the FA Cup Final on 5 May. ITV signalled their intention to move BGT to 8.45pm to help accommodate the footie and the BBC took the opportunity to shift The Voice ten minutes later to 7.10pm. Then ITV brought BGT back to 8.30pm and, hey presto, the ten-minute overlap was back. Cool heads prevailed, however, and in the final exchanges of schedules this week the two entertainment juggernauts entirely avoid each other on both Saturday and Sunday. Yes, there will also be a Sunday edition of Britain's Got Talent to go with The Voice results show on BBC1. Truly our cup runneth over.

There were plenty of excitable Moscow Chelski FC fans when Fernando Torres sealed their team's 2-2 draw with Barcelona to reach the Champions' League final on Tuesday night. But were any of them quite as excited as former The Scum and England defender turned Sky Sports summariser Gary Neville? For some it was a bloodcurdling scream not unlike poor Nigel Pargetter's fall off the roof in The Archers. For others it drew unfortunate comparisons with a particularly pleasurable bodily function which the French describe as 'la petite mort.' In Neville's case, there was nothing little about it.

A village in Scotland called Dull is looking to partner itself with the US town Boring in Oregon. Communications are under way to pair the two settlements, even though they are five and a half thousand miles apart. A Dull resident joked: 'Imagine how many people would do a double-take if it said "Welcome to Dull, a Sister Community of Boring."' That's a joke? I can see why they call the gaff dull. After hearing about Dull, Steve Bates of Boring was reportedly interested in the idea of joining the two, inviting Dull to be the Sister Community of Boring. Marjorie Keddle of Dull has already received a 'Declaration of Sistership'. Bates plans to discuss the future when the Boring Planning Organisation meets in June, according to the Daily Scum Mail. Which is never dull or boring. Just odious. Keddle has since said: 'It might seem like a joke, but this could have real benefits for Dull. Everyone has been smiling at the prospect of the very eye-catching road sign this will inevitably require.' The difference in population, under one hundred and fifty residents of Dull compared to thirteen thousand Boring people, means the two towns can't officially twin, but they are still looking forward to having a good relationship.

Supposedly 'rare' footage of a concert featuring The Be-Atles (popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) which a press release claims had been 'lost for forty eight years' is to be given a limited screening in the United States. Actually, it hasn't been lost at all, or anything even remotely like it, and much of it has been available for the last fifteen years on The Beatles Anthology and The First US Tour DVDs. Still, why let a little fact like that get in the way of pant-creaming hyperbole and lies? The half-hour set - filmed at the Washington Coliseum in 1964 - was the band's first full US gig just three days after their opening appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The concert, featuring performances of 'She Loves You' and 'Twist And Shout' among plenty of other Fab Tunes, forms part of a ninety two-minute documentary entitled The Beatles: The Lost Concert. The film, which includes an interview with Chuck Berry, premieres in New York's Ziegfield Theater on 6 May. It will then be screened in theatres across America on 17 and 22 May. The first part of the film focuses on the rise of Beatlemania in the United States and contains commentary from Berry, Mark Ronson, Aerosmith pair Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and Albert Hammond Jr and Nick Valensi from The Strokes. Mark Ronson, incidentally, was born in 1975 so he's obviously got plenty to say about a concert that look place eleven years before he was a gleam in his dad's eye. Nick Valensi was born in 1981. I'm sure if they asked for it, they could get Justin Bieber's views an'all. All this malarkey is then followed by the twelve-song set, which was originally broadcast to two million cinema-goers across America in March 1964, a month after it was filmed. The footage then disappeared (the press release claims), although, curiously, if you look on YouTube it's remarkably pretty 'undisappeared' there.

Which brings us, of course, to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, here's another supposedly 'lost' bit of footage from Washington. Looks pretty found to me. And, by the way, not for nothing, look at Ringo go-go!
If you get the urge to scream or, you know, throw yer knickers at the screen, dear blog reader, please remember, you don't have to ask the prime minister's permission to do so. It's a free country. Allegedly.

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