Monday, April 16, 2012

We Can't Go On Together

Sunday overnight ratings to kick off today's update, dear blog reader. ITV's coverage Happy Harry's hapless Stottingtot Hotshots getting a right good spanking off the Moscow Chelski FC at yer actual Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semi-final averaged a more than decent 6.04m across its two hours. It had a peak of 7.99m towards the end of the encounter, which the Russian club won 5-1. That's England's next manager, there, dear blog reader. Fills you with so much hope and expectation for the European Championships, does it not. Nevertheless, it still wasn't enough to take the peak time crown for ITV with Countryfile, Antiques Roadshow and Silent Witness on BBC1 pulling in 5.76m, 7.19m and 6.51m viewers respectively. Meanwhile, one of the most disgraceful numskull lowest common denominator excuses for a format ever devised by somebody who gets paid to work in TV, The Big Quiz: The Only Way Is Essex Versus Benidorm tanked big style with just 2.37m sad, crush victims of society tuning in to watch a lot of people being odious and risible and getting paid for it. Personally this blogger is delighted with this figure. Well done the viewing public for giving ITV a resounding raspberry to their shoddy, lame-brained idea of entertainment. And, of course, what makes that utterly risible figure even funnier is that fact that came off the back of an over eight million lead-in from the footie. Meanwhile, just making a dreadful night perfect for ITV, expensive superflop Titanic ended its four episode run with an average of 3.52m. It's clear now, of course, that ITV made a disastrous scheduling error and assumed that Titanic would do what Downton Abbey had done prop up their Sunday evening rather than, ahem, sinking it. Less damage might have been done if they had shown it over four consecutive nights but then, the content probably still would not have been up to it. One interesting thing about its total failure to connect with the public, apart from pricking the towering ego of Lord Snooty that his laughable obsessions with class is anything anyone else shares with him, is that it has drawn attention to a critical review of the series in the Radio Times. In this, horrible face-like-a-spark-plug Alison Graham, a thoroughly odious woman at the best of times, rightly lambasted Titanic for being, essentially, 'Crossroads at sea.' Which it is. Good spot, odious Alison Graham. She then, of course, goes and ruins it by claiming that the other thing Lord Snooty inflicts on us, Downton Abbey, 'works because it is classic escapism, a chance to wallow in the familiar, in a time where everyone knew their place and was jolly glad about it.' Seems she wasn't being ironic, either. The Chinese Grand Prix coverage on BBC1 averaged 2.9m (a whopping forty per cent share) with a peak of 4.1m just as Jenson and Lewis were coming in second and third. On Channel Four Homeland recorded its best overnight audience yet, 2.15m with a further four hundred thousand on C4+1. US fantasy show Once Upon a Time anchored Channel Five's schedule with 1.7m in the 8pm hour, while a Top Gear repeat on BBC2 had 1.6m. A This World special on last year's Norway massacre attracted 1.06m on BBC2 at 9pm, then Match of the Day 2 netted 1.79m in its usual slot. BBC1 achieved an easy victory in primetime with 25.1 per cent of the audience share, ahead of ITV's 16.5 per cent.

Here's yer actual consolidated ratings figures for week ending 8 April 2012:-
1 The Voice - BBC1 Sat - 10.71m
2 Britain's Got Toilets - ITV sat - 10.30m
3 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 8.84m
4 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 8.79m
5 The Apprentice - BBC1 Wed - 7.46m
6 Silent Witness - BBC1 Sun - 7.35m
7 Emmerdale - ITV Wed - 6.75m
8 The Syndicate - BBC1 Tues - 6.09m
9 Benidorm - ITV Fri - 5.66m
10 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 5.64m
11 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 5.63m
12 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 5.43m
13 Scott & Bailey - ITV Mon - 5.24m
14 Waterloo Road - BBC1 Wed - 5.08m
15 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 4.97m
16 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 4.87m
17 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Tues - 4.83m
18 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Wed - 4.76m
19 The ONE Show - BBC1 Wed - 4.57m
20 Fraud Squad - ITV Thurs - 4.51m
21 ITV News - ITV Fri - 4.45m
22 The National Lottery: In It To Win It - BBC1 Sat - 4.45m
23 Take Me Out - BBC1 Sat - 4.28m
24 UEFA Champions League Live - ITV Wed - 4.27m
25 Fake Britain - BBC1 Wed - 4.26m
Now, it's important to note that none of the ITV shows in this list include ITV HD data since none appears to be available from BARB this week (one wonders why, exactly?) Risible ITV flop Titanic's third episode had a final rating of 3.94m. BBC2's best rated shows were: The Hairy Bikers' Bake-Ation (3.25m) and The Apprentice: You're Fired! (2.91m), both including BBC HD viewers. One Born Every Minute (3.40m) continues to be Channel Four's best performer along with Homeland (2.8m). On Channel Five, their top show was good old reliable CSI (2.39m).

Meanwhile, if you're still wondering what all the fuss is about regarding The Voice versus Britain's Got Toilets the following set of overnight audience figures might, just secure your interest. These are for those watching the shows live.
Week 1:
The Voice 8.43m (37.6 per cent)
Britain's Got Talent 9.43m (39.2 per cent)
Week 2:
The Voice UK 9.00m (39.3 per cent)
Britain's Got Talent 10.28m (41.1 per cent)
Week 3:
The Voice 9.54m (41.1 per cent)
Britain's Got Talent 9.43m (38.7 per cent)
Week 4:
The Voice 10.68m (45.5 per cent)
Britain's Got Talent 10.04m (39.5 per cent)
So, to sum up, then, they're both doing very well - and many people now know who Danny O'Donoghue actually is. But, The Voice is doing a little bit better (and, certainly, a lot better that ITV seemed to think it was going to do). And, the press appear to have noticed and are quite enjoying doing lots of anti-Wee Shughie McFee the sour-face Scottish chef off Crossroads-stories. As, for example, here. And here. And here. And here. And here. Oh dear, Shughie, you've even lost the Daily Lies. Can it get any worse? And here. And here. And here. And here. And, in America. One shouldn't laugh, of course. But, it's really hard not to.

The TV Scoops website have pointed out, correctly, that this week was BBC1's eighteenth consecutive Saturday primetime win over ITV in a run stretching back to late 2011 the week after The X Factor finished, despite the return of the normally chart-topping Britain's Got Talent during the last four weeks. This raises an interesting point about what might be considered ITV's 'second tier' shows. They are virtually non-existent, at the moment especially with Harry Hill's TV Burp gone. Red or Black? flopped, amusingly, last year whilst the handful of shows which might be capable of pulling in the odd decent figure such as All Star Family Fortunes and The Cube are now either relegated to the edges of primetime - usually because of the dominance of Wee Shughie McFee the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossorads' shows - or crushed because they're placed opposite The Voice or, later in the year, Strictly Come Dancing. Even the much vaunted Take Me Out has proved to be a strictly-in-the-four-million-range programme. It's going to be interesting to see how many Saturday primetime wins ITV can manage overall this year. Of course, once The X Factor is back, they will probably win those - but that's only, what ten or twelve weeks? One imagines the advertisers upon whose money ITV depend aren't exactly turning cartwheels over that prospect.

Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly told Downton Abbey creator Lord Snooty his very self that the third series of the popular show will be her last. An alleged 'source' allegedly informed the Daily Scum Mail that the seventy seven-year-old actress has asked to be written out of the show in order to 'pursue other roles' on the big screen and the stage. 'She is filming until August and then wants to leave, going out on a high. She thinks that three series is enough and she wants to get back to the stage,' the alleged 'source' allegedly said. The actress plays the Dowager Countess on the show, a character which is well-liked for her acid bomb of sarky wit by much of the audience. Lord Snooty is reportedly still completing the plotline of the upcoming series, though executive producer Rebecca Eaton has revealed that a character who is 'pretty key in the cast' will die. So, that narrows that choice down to well, one, basically. Other cast members including Dan Stevens were said to be stalling on contracts last month. The alleged 'source' allegedly added: 'She is keen to pursue other roles so Julian is preparing to write her out. He [Lord Snooty] always has several endings so it won't be too difficult for him, but losing Maggie will be a great loss.'

Joe Gilgun has joined the cast of BBC1 thriller Ripper Street. The Misfits star told SFX magazine that he has won a 'guest lead part' in the period drama. 'I'm shooting in Dublin,' Gilgun confirmed. '[It's] fucking so ace, I can't even tell you, I've grown a moustache and everything. It's epic, it's grown over my lip and I can curl it. I look like Charles Bronson after a famine.' The actor added that he is 'bloody thrilled' to have won a role in the eight-part series, which stars Matthew Macfadyen. 'It's set in the time of Jack the Ripper,' he said. 'It's a guest lead part so I'm bloody thrilled with it. It's just such a bloody great job.' Set in 1899 London, Ripper Street will focus on H Division, the police precinct charged with keeping order in Whitechapel. Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg and MyAnna Buring will also star in the project, written by Mistresses author Richard Warlow.

The BBC is backing a new documentary about the life of Richard Pryor, featuring a wealth of archive material. The corporation will broadcast the as-yet-untitled film from director Marina Zenovich as part of the Storyville strand on BBC4, probably early next year. Storyville editor Nick Fraser told the website Realscreen that it had taken a long time to get Pryor's family to agree to the documentary. 'We've wanted to do a film on him for a long time,' he said, adding that it will feature 'a lot of great archive' footage as it covers Pryor's drug use, multiple marriages, multiple sclerosis and groundbreaking stand-up routines. The documentary was originally commissioned by cable network Showtime, which will broadcast it in the States.

Great Expectations has topped the list of nominations at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards. The BBC1 drama - which starred Douglas Booth as Pip and Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham - receives recognition in seven categories. It is followed by Sir David Attenborough's wildlife series Frozen Planet and drama Birdsong, both of which receive five nominations. ITV's Appropriate Adult, starring Dominic West as the serial killer Fred West, is up for four awards. Downton Abbey and BBC1's Sherlock both receive nods in three categories, in addition to Channel Four's contemporary drama Top Boy and BBC2's The Crimson Petal and the White, starring Chris O'Dowd, Romola Garai and Liz White. The BAFTA TV Craft Award nominations precede the nominations for this year's YouTube Audience Award, which will be revealed on Thursday 19 April.

Coronation Street returnee Terry Duckworth sparks outrage on the cobbles later this month as he starts searching for lap-dancers to work at his new business. Terry (played by Nigel Pivaro) is about to arrive back in Weatherfield to launch a strip club next to the Bistro. When he later learns of his son Tommy's inheritance money, he spies an opportunity and convinces the mechanic to help him set up the new bar, neglecting to mention that it'll be a lap-dancing establishment. Starting work for his scheming father, Tommy (Chris Fountain) is given flyers to hand out for 'Seventh Heaven'. Terry, meanwhile, promises to pay him when the bar is open and the money is rolling in. However, when a lap-dancer turns up in The Rovers to do an audition for Terry, Tommy is stunned to realise what, exactly, he's let himself in for.

His BBC colleagues John Humphrys, Jeremy Vine and Len Goodman may have been fronting shows over the weekend just gone commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, but Andrew Marr charted his own course, reports the Daily Scum Mail, gleefully. Any excuse for an anti-BBC story from the odious pond lice at the Scum Mail, eh? 'We are treating it as a national celebration. Are we going to be doing this for air crashes in future?' Marr asked on his BBC2 Sunday morning show. 'I think it is sordid and tasteless and very dull and I hope after today we won't hear any more about this sad story except from the driest of dry historians.' With ITV drama fiasco Titanic plunging in the ratings (see above), it looks like many viewers may share Marr's sinking feeling.
Yer actual Bobby Davro (remember him, dear blog reader?) and his former wife, Trudi, have become the latest public figures to sue the former publisher of the Scum of the World over alleged phone-hacking. Oh, Rupert. Has it come to this? Getting sued by Bobby Davro? Rumours that the general public are counter suing Bobby Davro for his own crimes against comedy cannot, at this time, be confirmed or denied. The (alleged) comedian - infamous for producing quite possibly the worst TV programme in the history of the medium, Bobby Davro's Rock With Laughter - filed a civil action under his real name, Robert Nankeville, at the high court in London last week. It was against News Group Newspapers, the News International subsidiary which published the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World and Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who used to work for the paper. Lots. Davro and his ex-wife Trudi, a former model, were the subject of intense tabloid interest in the early 2000s. When nobody had anything better to do with their time, seemingly. The pair eventually divorced in 2004. They are the latest in a new wave of civil litigants to have filed legal claims against Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper group and against the hapless Mulcaire in recent months. Mark Lewis, the solicitor for several alleged phone-hacking victims, told an Australian broadcaster last week that News Group Newspapers could face 'eighty or a hundred' new lawsuits over the scandal. Lewis said that the new litigants would be alleged 'secondary victims', those he described as 'the collateral damage of someone's phone being hacked.' David Beckham's father, Ted, filed legal papers at the high court in recent weeks according to the Gruniad Morning Star, as did two individuals named Matthew Doyle and Joyce Matheson. Others who have filed claims include the wife of the former prime minister, Cherie Blair, the man wrongly accused of murdering Rachel Nickell, Colin Stagg, TV personalities Jamie Theakston and Jeff Brazier, former boxer Chris Eubank and footballers Peter Crouch, Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas. News International has already settled with more than fifty phone-hacking victims, including the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, Steve Coogan, Charlotte Church, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and former Labour cabinet ministers Lord Prescott and Tessa Jowell. It cost them a bundle. Which was nice. Initial stages of the latest phone-hacking claims at the high court in London are being overseen by judge chief master Winegarten. Lawyers for some of the alleged victims are also exploring the possibility of suing Murdoch's media empire in the US, claiming their celebrity clients' voicemails were unlawfully intercepted while in America.

Actress Jessie Wallace will return to BBC1 soap EastEnders later this week. The actress, who plays Kat Moon, took a three-month break from the soap earlier this year following her separation from partner Vince Morse. On-screen the character of Kat Moon was temporarily written out to nurse her sick father Charlie Slater (Derek Martin). The Scum Mail on Sunday report that Jessie Wallace will return to work on EastEnders later this week with the character of Kat returning on-screen in about six weeks time. An alleged 'source' allegedly told the alleged newspaper 'Kat has had an ­incredibly tough time but the break has done her the world of good.'

Some rather sad news now, MasterChef host Gregg Wallace has revealed that he split from wife Heidi as a result of a row about her shuffling paper. The presenter, forty seven, admitted that the pair had a turbulent relationship and confessed that he wants to save the marriage. 'I phoned her up and she was shuffling paper in the office. I said, "Would you mind not doing that, I want to talk to you." Then she got angry and put the phone down.' Wallace claims that he ignored her when she called back and the row was still 'bubbling away' when he returned home. She eventually told him: 'I'm not happy and I'm not making you happy. Are you going to go, or am I?' Gregg told the Daily Scum Mail, a newspaper that loves rooting around on the detritus of people's lives and publishing this sort of bollocks that should be nobody's business but the couple concerned: 'I love my wife. I want to go to marriage ­counselling, I want to work on it. I'm gutted with what's happened. I want to be out on the town. I crave company. She wanted me to stop the socialising and stop the drinking.' Heidi reportedly said: 'We had arguments about nothing in ­particular and we'd both end up in a state. We are two very different people. If Gregg is honest he wasn't happy with a lot of things, but it was me who made the final decision. I'm definitely going to do the marriage ­counselling because I'd like to continue to look after the kids. And I hope he does meet someone who makes him feel happy and loves him for who he is. I can't do that.'

Austria and Slovenia are said to be embroiled in 'a diplomatic row' over the origins of a regional sausage. Slovenia wants the Krainer sausage to be given special protected EU status - like Melton Mowbray pork pies, the Cornish pasty, Champagne and Parmesan. The country insists that the speciality, made of minced pork and seasoned with garlic and pepper, originated in Northern Slovenia's Kranjska region in the Nineteenth century, meaning it should get Protected Geographical Indication status. However, Austria claims that a cheese-filled version of the sausage, called the Kaesekrainer, was invented in their country. Both are battling to claim ownership of the pork sausage, the BBC reports. Only a sausage made in the winning region could be called a Krainer. The European Commission with make a ruling on the issue if the two countries can't settle the dispute in the next six months. 'To rename this beloved speciality is simply impossible. Vienna sausage stands are a trademark of the city and Kaesekrainers have to be on offer,' Vienna Chamber of Commerce's Josef Bitzinger said. 'Frankfurter sausages are called Wiener Wuerstel in Germany and that is not a problem.'

Pixie Lott has revealed that she receives a lot of female attention at gigs. She added: 'It was mad outside my hotel. Girls were throwing themselves in front of my car. One burst into tears then lifted her top. She had "I Love You Pixie" written on her boobs. Madness.' Yeah well, that's adolescence for you. They'll grow out of it eventually.

The chances of finding life on Mars could be improved by looking in craters made by asteroids, according to a study. I could go into a long routine about David Bowie, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marianne Faithful meeting at a party at this point, dear blog reader. But, trust me, you don't want that. Nobody wants that. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh said organisms had been discovered thriving deep underneath a site in the US where an asteroid crashed thirty five million years ago. They believe such craters provide refuge for microbes. The findings suggest that crater sites on other planets may be 'hiding life.' To find the microbes, researchers drilled almost two kilometres below one of the largest asteroid impact craters on Earth, in Chesapeake. And, they're very difficult to find, microbes because, after all, they're a Godawful small affair. Samples from below ground showed that microbes are unevenly spread throughout the rock, suggesting that the environment is continuing to settle thirty five million years after initial impact. So, anyway, two Martians walk into a bar. It's a Mars bar. Nah, lissun. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh said that heat from the impact of an asteroid collision would kill everything at the surface, but fractures to rocks deep below would allow water and nutrients to flow in and support life. And help it, you know, work, rest and play. They believe that asteroid craters provide shelter to microbes, shielding them from the effects of changing seasons and events such as global warming or ice ages. Professor Charles Cockell, from the University of Edinburgh, said: 'The deeply fractured areas around the impact craters can provide a safe haven in which microbes can flourish for long periods of time. Our findings suggest that the subsurface of craters on Mars might be a promising place to search for evidence of life.'

Six men, including footballer El Hadji Diouf, were arrested after a nightclub brawl which left a man seriously hurt. The Doncaster Rovers striker is understood to be one of five men who were bailed until 23 May following the fight at a Manchester club. Queens Park Stranger's Anton Ferdinand is understood to have been interviewed under police caution but not arrested. A thirty three-year-old man is seriously ill but stable in hospital, said a Greater Manchester Police spokesman. The alleged incident took place at 03:40 on Sunday in the Circle Club and the injured man was found close to the Barton Arcade club. A GMP statement said: 'Six men were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, five of whom have been bailed until 23 May pending further police enquiries. Another man has assisted the investigation, which is ongoing.' Diouf who appeared for Senegal in the 2002 World Cup and has previously played for Liverpool, Bolton, Blunderland, Glasgow Rangers and Blackburn, did not play in Doncaster's 4-3 defeat by Portsmouth on Saturday, which saw them relegated from the Championship. Ferdinand, who was a team-mate of Diouf's at Blunderland and is the brother of Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, played in his club's 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on the same day.

Some rather interesting developments happened on Twitter over the last twenty four hours. (I know, I know, Twitter and 'interesting' are not words which usually belong in the same sentence.) An alleged journalist named Tom Latchem, formerly of the Scum of the World (hence the 'alleged' part), has claimed that a major story involving Wee Shughie McFee the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was going to be splashed all over the Scum of the World's front page a couple of years back. That was when, you know, it was still a newspaper before it got shut down in disgrace and ignominy for hacking the phones of lots of people, denying they had and then getting found out. This story was, Latchem alleges, 'absolutely massive' and would have damaged the career of Wee Shughie McFee the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads immeasurably, instantly putting to an end his dreams of world domination. However, Latchem adds, Wee Shughie McFee, due to the immense power he had at the time over Fleet Street, managed to get the story pulled after he, allegedly, rang well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and, allegedly, said: 'We give you millions in business every year. You sure you want to run that?' The Scum of the World, claims Latchem, promptly gave in and didn't run this sensational story. Whatever it was. Though, from hints Latchem gives out, it seems to be a variant of a story which actually broke this weekend that Wee Shughie McFee was, ahem, 'involved' with Dannii Minogue, the least famous of the Minogue sisters for a while in 2007. Latchem, who claims that the Scum of the World 'has pictures' (and, what a delightful image that conjures up) had predicted that with 'the current media backlash' against Wee Shughie McFee, this damaging story may surface quite soon. Unless, of course, it already has. In which case, it's not really that damaging. More of the 'what lucky bastard!' variety. Ah, tittle-tattle and telling tales out of school. Don't you just love it to bits, dear blog reader? The X Factor judges' alleged affair has been revealed this weekend in extracts from former BBC journalist Tom Bower's book The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell serialised in the Scum of the World's sister paper, the Sun. 'I had a crush on her,' Wee Shughie McFee is quoted as saying. 'It was Dannii's hair, the sexy clothes and the tits. I was like a schoolboy. She was foxy. She was a real man's girl.' Cowell is also said to have 'tried it on' with Natalie Imbruglia as recently as last year, but only got a kiss and a cuddle according to the Sun. Minogue herself is reportedly 'distraught' after the alleged secret relationship was revealed. The former X Factor judge is said to be 'in a dark place' after the extracts were published. That'll probably be Australia, then. It's night over there at the moment. 'She's understandably distraught by all of this coming out just as she's struggling to cope with the breakdown of her relationship with Kris,' a friend told the Mirra. 'It was all such a long time ago and to have to deal with it now in the wake of the last few weeks is just too much. She is incredibly raw and this is the last thing she wants to endure.'

Saxophonist Andrew Love, who formed the award-winning Memphis Horns duo with trumpeter Wayne Jackson, has died aged seventy in Tennessee. They played together on fifty two number one records, backing up the likes of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. They were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in February. Willie Love said that her husband died at his home on Thursday. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. 'He played with such feeling. He played with grace, soul,' Mrs Love said. 'Andrew played notes from his heart.' The Memphis Horns provided the horn section on dozens of well-known songs, including Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline', Presley's 'Suspicious Minds', Sam & Dave's 'Soul Man' and Al Green's 'Let's Stay Together' among many others. Other acts the duo worked with included Isaac Hayes, The Doobie Brothers, The Robert Cray Band, U2, Primal Scream, Jack White and Alicia Keys. And Sting, but we'll just have to try and forgive them for that one blip in an otherwise outstanding career. The Memphis Horns were a staple of much of the music made at Stax Records - considered one of the most important R&B and soul labels of the 1960s, along with Atlantic and Motown. 'I knew we would be perfect together,' Wayne Jackson said in a statement on Friday. 'He had a big tone and I had a big tone, and I knew that they would blend in the most natural, beautiful way.' The collaboration and friendship between Love and Jackson - one black, the other white - also came to symbolise a transcendence over racial divisions throughout the South and beyond in the 1960s. The Memphis Horns were only the second instrumental backup group in history to receive the lifetime achievement Grammy honour. In 2008, the pair were also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. In addition to his wife, Love is survived by four children.

So, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's just one of those fifty two numbers ones that Andrew and Wayne gave the horn to. Testify, brother Elvis.

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