Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm Down Here For Your Soul

Just in case you don't spend half your life with your nose stuck in the Radio Times, dear blog reader, one of the two outstanding episodes from the last series of Qi (the Shakespeare themes one) will be shown on BBC2 at 10 o'clock next Friday (27 April). It's described as 'an edition of the show celebrating the Cultural Olympiad, asking Bill Bailey, David Mitchell, Sue Perkins and regular panellist Alan Davies.' There's still no news yet on when the XL edition will be broadcast (schedules for the following day are incomplete). Or, indeed, when the other untransmitted episode - the one featuring Jezza Clarkson, pulled because of BBC cowardice that some louse of no importance in the Gruniad Morning Star might say something nasty about them - is likely to be shown.

Doctor Who's Matt Smith reportedly auditioned for a role in ITV drama Footballers Wives. The supposedly 'glamorous' - but, actually pretty risible - ITV drama ran for five seasons between 2002 and 2006 and was produced for ITV by Shed Media who also created the equally risible prison drama Bad Girls. Footballers Wives was a drama revolving around the WAGS at a fictional football club, Earl's Park. Matt Smith's sister Laura Jayne has revealed in a telling-tales-out-of-school interview with the Daily Scum Mail that her brother had auditioned for a role in the drama. 'I had a friend who worked on Footballers' Wives so I covered Matt in fake tan, gelled his hair, made him wear salmon pink trousers and sent him for an audition. He didn't get the part, which was probably a good thing,' she said. Footballers Wives starred Zoe Lucker, Laila Rouass, Susie Amy, Gillan Taylforth, Ben Price, Gary Lucy, Cristian Solimeno and Jamie Davis. The series also spawned an ITV2 spin-off Footballers Wives: Extra Time but was risible as well and was cancelled, along with its parent series, in 2006.

STV Productions has announced today that it will be producing a second series of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip for BBC2. The commission follows a relatively successful first series in October 2011. This brand new series will follow twenty pairs of antique-loving alleged celebrities as they set off on a 'nail-biting' road trip across the UK, competing against each other to make the biggest profit buying and selling antiques. And yes, if you haven't seen it, dear blog reader, it really is every single bit as bad as that one-line description makes it sound.

A new series from Sky Atlantic will celebrate gay performers in British entertainment. God Save the Queens will chart the history of gay comedians and performers in Britain. The three-part series will cover the period between Queen Elizabeth's coronation and the present day. 'It starts in 1952 and tells the story of gay performers and the role they have played in changing public perception of homosexuality and becoming national institutions along the way,' said production company Twofour in a statement. 'It will be a celebration of achievements and career highlights, as well as a history of how gay rights and our perception of gay performers has changed over the last sixty years.' The series has also been described as 'a warm-hearted and intelligent definitive history' of gay performers in British entertainment. Julian Clary is among the stars expected to contribute, while the three episodes will profile the likes of Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams, Frankie Howerd and Larry Grayson. God Save the Queens is expected to be broadcast this summer, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. That's the actual Queen, you understand. Anyway ...

Sir David Attenborough's Frozen Planet will take on Keith Lemon's Celebrity Juice at the TV BAFTAs next month. The BBC1 documentary and the daft ITV2 quiz show are shortlisted for the audience prize, voted for by the British public. Also in contention are Channel Four's documentary series Educating Essex and student comedy Fresh Meat, BBC2 cookery show The Great British Bake Off and BBC1 detective drama Sherlock. The winner will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall on 27 May. This year's event is being hosted by comedian and Mock The Week host Dara O'Briain. Last year, ITV2's scripted reality show The Only Way is Essex was the shock winner in the category, beating ITV period drama Downton Abbey, Sherlock and BBC comedy Miranda. Earlier this week, BBC1's adaptation of Great Expectations was nominated for seven BAFTA TV Craft Awards, which honour behind-the-scenes programme-makers.
Newspaper proprietors and editors hoping to stop David Cameron introducing statutory regulation of the press won support this week from the broadcasting regulator Ofcom. In a paper submitted to the Leveson inquiry, the TV and radio regulator said that reform of press regulation can be achieved if the body which takes over from the Press Complaints Commission is set up with a more robust framework and the power to impose proper sanctions on errant newspapers. 'Properly constituted, effective and independent self-regulation could be the basis of a new model of press regulation,' Ofcom added. But the regulator said that in order for self-regulation to work certain elements of the new regime, such as rules governing membership, may need to be recognised by a statute. This would tackle the vexed 'Richard Desmond' issue, concerning the vexed Richard Desmond. The owner of the Daily Scum Express, the Daily Lies and OK! magazine significantly weakened the authority of the PCC when he with his titles from the regulator in January last year. The new press regulator might also need a law to define the 'governance arrangement' and set up some sort of legal powers for 'a periodic review' of how well the body was working. 'In the areas of membership and governance, there could be concerns about whether self-regulation would be sufficient to develop a system with genuine legitimacy and capable of building public trust. A minimal enabling statute – or recognition in statute – could be necessary in these areas,' Ofcom said. The TV and radio watchdog is a statutory body that forces broadcasters to legally comply with a code of practice and has the power to impose significant financial sanctions when these rules are broken. Ofcom said a new press regulator should also have 'effective powers of enforcement and sanction' and 'genuine powers of investigation.' This would address widespread criticism during the Leveson inquiry that the PCC did not use its powers to go to News International and investigate allegations of phone-hacking at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World.

Silk's Rupert Penry-Jones has said that his character Clive Reader is 'not concerned with morals.' Sounds like six hundred and thirty politicians one could mention. The actor explained that his alter-ego gets less emotionally involved with clients than romantic interest Martha Costello (Maxine Peake). '[Silk is] about normal people dealing with exceptional situations,' he said. 'You get everyday people doing their jobs, working with people who are murderers, you know, shaking hands with a murderer. It's Martha that seems to have these sort of moral dilemmas really. I don't think Clive really worries about the morals - his job is to do the best thing for his client.' On how Clive's relationship with Martha will progress in the new series, Penry-Jones explained: 'They confide in each other and I think Clive will always confide in Martha before anybody else, but at the moment Martha is more of a friend or sister. They stand up for each other and they still like being with each other. But who knows, they might have another night together one day… Clive definitely still holds a torch for her.' Silk returns for a second series on 8 May on BBC1.

On Wednesday night's ITV coverage of the Champions League Clive Tyldesley noted that the referee in the Moscow Chelski FC v Barca clash, the German FIFA official Felix Brych, is, in civvie-life, a lawyer for a bank. 'A lawyer, a banker and a referee. So, not the most popular of men,' quoth the odious Scumchester United-loving commentator. Oh, I dunno, for all that, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is sure that yer actual Herr Brych still has a fair few more admirers than Adrian Chiles, for instance. Or, indeed, Ashley Cole.

London's digital switchover finally finishes on Wednesday. And, one or two media outlets have also reported of some surprise beneficiaries of switchover, golf courses. The number of TV sets that get recycled increases by up to forty three per cent in the three months leading up to switchover in any particular region and the glass from junked TVs gets ground down into sand to be used in golf bunkers. According to recycling company Veolia, which did the research, up to ninety five per cent of television parts can be recycled. You can insert your own joke at this point, dear blog reader, about the same being true of television programme ideas. Old golfers never die, it is said. They simply lose their balls. What? What?

Indonesian officials are likely to make the wearing miniskirts by ladies punishable in the country's new porn crime laws. And, the wearing of miniskirts by chaps for that matter. Skirts which 'fall above the knee' will come under the definition of pornography if the ruling is implemented. The move comes after House of Representatives speaker Marzuki Alie caused 'international outrage' last month, according to Stylist. Can't say I'd noticed, personally. Alie wanted to ban female politicians and staff from wearing miniskirts as it allegedly 'tempted the men.' He said: 'You know what men are like.' Oh aye, mate. I do. I am one. 'Provocative clothing will make them do things,' he continued. You try using that as an excuse in a court of law, matey, and see how for you get. Religious affairs minister, Suryadharma Ali, is leading the charge to bring the rule into force.

One of America's best-known veteran television personalities, Dick Clark, has died aged eighty two. Clark, who presented the long-running music show American Bandstand and an annual New Year's Eve special, had a heart attack, his agent said. He had continued working even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2004. ABC's American Bandstand introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna. Paul Shefrin, Clark's spokesman, said the presenter had a heart attack on Wednesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica. He had gone to the facility the day before for an outpatient procedure. Clark was often referred to as 'the world's oldest teenager' because of his youthful appearance. He made his fortieth appearance on ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve programme on 31 December 2011. Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in a New York City suburb in 1929, and began working in the mail-room of a radio station in the city in 1945. In his 1976 autobiography, Rock, Roll & Remember, he said he had idolised his older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. Radio, he said, helped eased his loneliness. Clark's production company, Dick Clark Productions, created films, game shows, music programmes and beauty contests, including The Twenty Five Thousand Dollar Pyramid, TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes and The American Music Awards. At one time during the 1980s, Clark had shows running on all three main US networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - and he ranked among the Forbes four hundred wealthiest Americans. He was also a partner of the United Stations Radio Network, which provided content to thousands of stations. In 1985, Clark told the Associated Press news agency: 'There's hardly any segment of the population that doesn't see what I do. It can be embarrassing. People come up to me and say, "I love your show", and I have no idea which one they're talking about.' Clark married three times and had three children.

Inhabitants of the Austrian village of Fucking are to vote later this week about changing its name. The village has been the subject of numerous jokes and pranks. No shit? Really? For example, people have been calling up to ask 'Is that Fucking?' before hanging up, the Daily Torygraph claims. That's not really the height of wit and sophistication, though, is it? I mean, ringing up and asking where 'the Fucking police are' to be told 'in the Fucking police station, what's it to you, chebface?' now, that's funny. In other instances couples have stripped off and frolicked in front of the village's sign. The sign has also been regularly stolen despite measures such as welding it to steel posts. Mayor Franz Meindl said: 'The phone calls are really the final straw.' The village, made up of around one hundred residents, will vote on whether to change the name to 'Fugging', despite the amount of tourism they receive from their current name. Local businesses have cashed in on the name with products branded Fucking postcards, Fucking Christmas cards and Fucking beer. All sold in the Fucking shop, no doubt. Asked for a reaction, the mayor of the town of Cunter in Switzerland replied 'those Fucking Austrians think they've got problems?'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a little gem from yer actual Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

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