Sunday, May 06, 2012

Week Twenty: Winners And Losers

Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is reportedly in 'secret talks' to join the BBC. Well, not really secret now that everybody knows about it, obviously. The X Factor judge and billionaire tyrant, who has worked with ITV for the past eleven years, is said to feel 'betrayed' by the 'unsupportive' broadcaster. His relationship with the channel has now, allegedly, hit an all-time low, just weeks after the unofficial biography Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads claimed that he was 'upset and annoyed' with ITV over its 'lack of support' for Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor. Britain's Got Talent has, of course, been in a well-publicised ratings battle with BBC rival The Voice, forcing the ITV show to change its time slot. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is reported to have 'personally wooed' BBC1 controller Danny Cohen with a new idea for a drama. 'Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads rang Danny Cohen to congratulate him on how well The Voice was doing. He then said he had " a great idea" for a "brilliant" drama and outlined it,' an alleged 'source' allegedly told the Mirra. 'He's gone off to do a proposal and it will be treated like any other idea from an independent production company. If it's brilliant, then great. We'll see a treatment then get it developed in the normal way.' However, another alleged 'source' allegedly claimed that Cohen has allegedly been 'dismayed' to hear that Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads has allegedly been boasting to his alleged friends about his alleged 'new BBC drama' before it has even been commissioned. Allegedly. 'We're a long way off any commission. We're happy to talk but there's a feeling we could be being used in Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's ongoing war with ITV,' the alleged 'insider' allegedly said to the alleged newspaper. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads 'wants the BBC to know he could be working with us - this is his way of flexing his pecs and showing them he has options. Danny doesn't want to be played off,' by Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads the alleged 'insider' allegedly added. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's alleged 'right-hand woman' Shu Green was allegedly 'poached' by ITV last week after ten years at Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads's company, Syco. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads allegedly viewed the alleged move as an alleged 'slap in the face' and allegedly rang the alleged ITV Studios boss Denise O'Donoghue to allegedly demand an alleged explanation. Allegedly. He is also alleged to be unhappy that ITV have allegedly overruled him on the alleged decision to rehire alleged Gary Barlow for The X Factor, whom Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads allegedly wanted to sack for being 'too scripted' and 'a bit stiff.' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was a consultant on the thoroughly wretched 2008 ITV drama Rock Rivals, which starred Michelle Collins, but later pulled out.

The Voice duo Indie and Pixie have reportedly received death threats since appearing on the show. The pair, aged seventeen and nineteen, 'hit out' (that's criticised, only with less syllables) at the editing of the singing competition after they appeared to argue with Becky Hill over who got the best lines during the Battle Rounds. Coach Jessie J later axed the singers, who insist that they never fell out with Hill. They claim the BBC edited five days of footage into a few minutes to manufacture a row for ratings. 'I felt sick watching it. I had to leave the room because I couldn't watch it. They made their own story,' Indie told the Sun. 'They would take the answer and put it with a different question. There was one girl [on Twitter] who said we deserved to burn. People said we didn't deserve to be alive. We wouldn't have had so much hate if they hadn't edited us like that.' Indie's mum, Charlie, has since complained to the BBC and was recently invited for a meeting. The BBC said: 'There was a fair representation of all coaching sessions.'

All of which prompted yer actual Keith Telly Topping to return to his recently dormant artistic career and create this piece, which he calls Big Fight, Little People
And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Top Telly Tips. And where better a place to start than with the two programmes we've just been talking about.

Saturday 12 May
The Voice - 6:10 BBC1 - has no truck with Britain's Got Talent-style shenanigans. And, though it's still doing great business for the BBC (over eight million punters for every episode so far), the lack of light and shade in the coach's comments (they're all so relentlessly nice about everyone) does occasionally threaten to make it just a touch bland. Which, obviously, isn't the greatest of things when you're in direct competition with a TV show that is many things - nasty, spiteful, hurtful - but seldom bland. Anyway Holly Willoughby continues to prove that she can read an autocue more-or-less adequately and, along with Reggie Yates, present the third live show, which sees the stakes getting higher for coaches Jessie J, Tom Jones, Will.i.am and ... the other one. They have all lost one act each, and their remaining four singers now battle to stay in the competition. The results can be seen tomorrow night.
Meanwhile, after seven rounds of auditions and five semi-finals, the search comes to a close as the ten finalists perform one more time in the final of Britian's Got Toilets - 7:30 ITV. Their aim, of course, is to follow in the footsteps of previous winners Paul Potts, George Sampson, Diversity, Spelbound and Jai McDowall and win a slot at the Royal Variety Performance, as well as getting their hands on a massive wad of mucho wonga. And then, nine months later, to be able to sell their 'I've been dropped by the record company' story to the tabloids for about four quid. To achieve this, all they have to do is impress the voting public, for while Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and his fellow judges may be poised with their buzzers, their self-important opinion at this point counts for all but nothing - who wins is down to the viewers at home. 'We are on a mission to find a star and I genuinely believe that person, that act, is out there. We just want to find the best,' said Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads at the start of Britain's Got Toilets. So, in theory the ten acts that have been voted through to tonight's final and who are waiting nervously in the wings of the Fountain Studios in Wembley should be mind-bogglingly brilliant. I'll leave it up to you, dear blog reader, if you reckon that's remotely accurate. Ant and/or Dec present. Last in the series.

The murderer holds a bus full of schoolchildren hostage, and vows he will only let his captives go if members of the public set fire to the premises of five companies which indirectly benefit from child labour in The Bridge - 9:00 BBC4. Saga increasingly suspects that the perpetrator is one of their own - a police officer. Excellent crime drama, in Danish and Swedish with English subtitles, starring Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia. Immediate afterwards is episode eight. A witness statement leads Saga and Martin to arrest one of their colleagues on suspicion of masterminding the crime spree, but he appears to have a cast iron alibi for all the incidents. Meanwhile, the murderer announces he has achieved his goals, and declares his reign of terror has come to an end - though Saga is certain his campaign is far from over.

Sunday 13 May
It's the final day of yer actual Premier League football 2011-12 season, celebrated on Match of the Day at 10:25 BBC1. Gary Lineker presents highlights from Sheikh Yer Man City against Queen's Park Strangers at the Etihad Stadium and Blunderland versus The Scum at the Stadium of Shite the two matches which will, in theory, decide the destination of the trophy and mucho wonga in the owner's sizeable pocket. The final standings are all set to be decided on what promises to be a dramatic day at both the top and bottom of the table. There'll be action from the Premiership's only Russian club Moscow Chelski FC playing relegation haunted Blackburn Vindaloos. Also, there's Everton against yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though still unsellable) Newcastle United, Norwich City versus The Aston Villains (in what's likely to be Alex McLeish's final game before the Villa Park faithful force him out in the summer), Stoke City playing Notlob Wanderers, Swansea City v miserable, sour-faced, scowling Kenny's Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and Stottingtot Hotshots trying to cheer up The People's Choice Happy Harry by giving Poor Bloody Fulham Haven't Got A Chance a damned good hiding. There's also Roy Hodgson's final game in charge of West Bromwich Albinos, who play The Arse, before accepting the poisoned chalice of the England job and, lastly, and probably leastly, Wigan Athletic versus already relegated Wolverhampton Wanderings. It'll be exciting, it'll be full of thud and blunder, Shearer will probably elbow somebody in the face for looking at him in a funny way, Hansen will say 'unbelievable' a lot. And Mark Lawrenson will say nothing of any consequence (so, no change there, then).

There's a big 1970s revival going on at the moment, dear blog reader. You might have noticed. Whole families trying to exist on seventy quid a week. Telly's noticed this trend and various formats have been exploiting this of late, fronted by the likes of Dominic Sandbrook and Mark Lawson. Hell, the BBC have even dragged out the decade old I ♥ The 70s and foisted yer actual Keith Telly Topping's nasty green shirt on the unsuspecting public. Naughty BBC. Anyway, in In The Lost World of the Seventies - 10:00 BBC2 - Michael Cockerell uses archive interviews he conducted combined with new footage to present the inside stories of four colourful public figures in the 1970s. Including profiles of James Goldsmith, the billionaire financier with the complex business and love life, as well as former Metropolitan Police commissioner Robert Mark, who was on a mission to root out corruption from Scotland Yard. Also featured are Lord Longford, whose anti-pornography campaign earned him the nickname 'Lord Porn' and General Walter Walker, who set up a private anti-Marxist army in an effort to undermine Harold Wilson's government.

It seems a lifetime ago that Coast began its first series on BBC2 and people wondered how they'd manage to fill thirteen episodes just by looking for stories around Britain's coastline. Five further series and another forty odd on and they're still going and still surprising us/ Investigating the lifestyles, history and legends of Britain and its people, begins its seventh series with a look at the nation's islands in Coast - 9:00 BBC2. Nick Crane signs on as a deck-hand with a tall ship, reliving the great days of sail on a gruelling yet exhilarating journey between the Northern Isles of Scotland. Nick hopes to fulfil a childhood ambition by setting foot on tiny 'Fair Isle'. This is the most remote populated outpost in the British Isles and home to just seventy hardy souls. Can Nick uncover the mystery of how this tiny community's struggle to survive was successful, when many other larger Scottish islands were abandoned? At Scapa Flow on Orkney, Scottish Neil Oliver (and his lovely hair) explores the conspiracy theories surrounding the mysterious death of Lord Kitchener. Kitchener was one of over six hundred soldiers and sailors who perished when their ship went down. Neil meets locals on Orkney who believe tales of suspicious events on the fateful night of the wreck. Historian Tessa Dunlop hopes to witness an extraordinary and uplifting sight that is special to the Western Isles of Scotland: the mysterious Green Ray. What causes the exceptionally rare Green Ray and how can Tessa be guaranteed to see it? On the Isle of Wight Coast newcomer Andy Torbet finds himself scaling slippery new heights on the Needles. There are no records of his climb being done before. He is attempting the perilous ascent to solve the mystery of why this needle of chalk has resisted erosion by the waves for millions of years. There is a special appearance by legendary folk singer June Tabor who tells the tale of the mysterious Selkie, a mythical creature that can take the shape of man or a seal

Tony Robinson adjudicates a debate to decide the Time Team's greatest discovery to date in the final episode of the current series - 5:25 Channel Four. With more than two hundred and fifty digs to consider, many of which retrieved rare and valuable finds in addition to the ones that revealed intriguing archaeological fakery (yes, that one), Mick Aston, Phil Harding and Helen Geake discuss and defend their favourites.

Grand Prix: The Killer Years - 9:00 BBC4 - is a documentary exploring the dangerous aspects of Formula 1 racing and the deaths that occurred at Grands Prix during the 1960s and early 1970s. The film examines the boycotts organised by drivers and the lengthy battle they fought to achieve improvements in safety standards. Featuring contributions by three-time world champion (and 'Scottish lady') Jackie Stewart, who was a leading campaigner for increases in the sport's safety, double champion Emerson Fittipaldi and John Surtees, who won titles on two and four wheels.

Monday 14 May
Dominic Sandbrook examines the final three years of the decade in The 70s - 9:00 BBC2. He tells the story of Richard Branson, one of many entrepreneurs who turned the hippie philosophy of the 1960s into a successful business ethic, and examines how the post-war concrete housing estates had become associated with violence, vandalism and misery. He also considers how the launch of new children's TV show Grange Hill caused concern with its frank depiction of the comprehensive education system. Last in the series. Which has been very good, fascinating viewing but, in places, a bit ephemeral and lacking in depth. I like Sandbrook a lot, I like his relaxed presentation style and some of this links have been inspired. But ... I still reckon Charles Shaar Murray's description of him as 'the Hoodie Historian' is a bit too close to home for comfort!

Nearly fifty years since viewers first met a group of British seven-year-olds in Granada TV's Seven Up documentary, Michael Apted returns with another update to find out how their lives have changed in Fifty Six Up - 9:00 ITV. Now in their mid-fifties, the participants discuss the highs and lows of getting older, reveal whether they have achieved their ambitions and reflect on their appearances in previous instalments of the landmark series.
A year in the life of the owners and staff of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, builds a picture of this real-life Downton Abbey for the Twenty First Century in Chatsworth - 9:00 BBc1. Cameras enter the estate at the busiest time of the season, as the stately home is being prepared to open to the public. Everyone has a role to play - even the Duke and Duchess are mucking in, helping to pick up litter around the grounds. Meanwhile, Heather Redmond begins her probation as head guide in charge of a sixty-strong team, many of whom worked at Chatsworth before she was born, farm-shop manager Andre Birkett finds something unexpected in the toilet, and farm manager Ian Turner tours the estate as lambing season begins.

Dispatches: Watching The Detectives - 8:00 Channel Four - is an investigation into the black market in personal data, an industry that sees private detectives selling access to the health and criminal records, mobile phone bills and bank accounts of members of the public. The documentary also reveals how supposedly secure databases are open to exploitation.

Tuesday 15 May
Maxine Peake and Rupert Penry-Jones return in the legal drama in Silk - 9:00 BBC1. Barrister Martha Costello is now a QC, meaning that the cases she gets are bigger and the stakes are higher. As she discovers when she defends a gangster accused of blinding a car-wash attendant. It seems like a hopeless brief, as he was found with blood on his shoes and made a confession to the police - and things only get worse when she comes up against the ruthless prosecution lawyer, nicknamed Lady Macbeth for her uncompromising and vicious approach in court. Clive, meanwhile, still smarting from his unsuccessful silk application, takes on a sensitive case with a new solicitor, the fiery and passionate George Duggan, and soon discovers he has more than met his match. Neil Stuke co-stars, with Phil Davis, Indira Varma and Frances Barber joining the cast.

Men and women who clean up after the nation reveal the unpleasant aspects of their work, providing a unique perspective on modern British life in the first of the two-part Dirty Britain - 9:00 ITV. The first programme meets Manchester sewer workers Mick and Shaun, who have first-hand knowledge of the public's poor diet; event cleaner Marcia, who gives an insight into how Brits behave in a crowd; and window cleaner Ross, whose job involves keeping a huge national icon absolutely spotless. Plus, pest controller Jim battles an infestation of bedbugs. Narrated by Zoe Wanamaker.

Murder strikes close to home for Dr Robbins when his wife Judy reports she has discovered a dead man in her bed in the latest episode of CSI (Genetic Disorder) 9:00 Channel Five. Analysis of the Robbins' suburban home prompts the investigators to suspect their colleague's spouse was having an affair. However, when DB discovers the victim was a genealogist Judy had hired to trace her husband's family tree, he decides to turn his attention to the man's other clients, and stumbles upon a hidden family mystery from the 1970s. Crime drama, starring Ted Danson.
Starlings - 8:00 Sky One - is a comedy drama following the ups and downs of everyday family life for an extremely hectic household in Matlock, Derbyshire. Terry and Jan Starling prepare for two new additions, including daughter Bell's baby, who is born in a birthing pool located in the living room. The show is executive-produced by Steve Coogan and co-written by and co-starring Peep Show's Matt King and Star Stories' Steve Edge. Starring Brendan Coyle, Lesley Sharp and Rebecca Night.
Wednesday 16 May Felicity Kendal's Indian Shakespeare Quest - 9:00 BBC2 - sees the actress and seventies sex-kitten travelling to India, where she spent her formative years touring with her parents' theatre company Shakespeareana. Now she returns to the subcontinent to explore its enduring passion for the Bard's work, on a journey which takes in cities and small villages, visiting theatres, cafes, schools and prisons. Along the way she talks to dancers, farmers, jailers, teachers and Bollywood superstars in an effort to understand how Shakespeare's influence permeated Indian life in a surprising variety of ways.

There's a new series of Lewis beginning tonight - 8:00 ITV. The Oxford-based detective investigates after a botanist accidentally unearths the body of a recently buried professor who was fixated upon solving a seemingly impossible riddle by Lewis Carroll. The victim had a long-standing rivalry with his brother - giving Lewis and Hathaway an obvious suspect - but the case is hindered by the mind games of two students who seem intent on causing trouble in their quest to gain admittance to a mysterious club. Guest starring Celia Imrie and James Fleet, with Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox.

Brennan and Booth's new family unit is shaken when Parker returns from England and meets his newborn young sister in Bones - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. Apparently deceitful behaviour causes problems for his father, and further problems arise when he is caught destroying photographs of the couple and Christine. Meanwhile, a father-son relationship seems to be the cause of the death of a trucker, and Jack Hodgins goes way over-budget when buying new equipment, much to cam's chagrin.

The second series of Twenty Four Hours in A&E - 9:00 Channel Four - begins tonight. This is the return of the popular documentary which provides access to one of Britain's busiest accident and emergency departments at King's College Hospital in London. The latest batch of patients to be treated by staff include two with serious head injuries, one of whom, a Brighton female cyclist, has been airlifted to the building. Also brought in by helicopter is a father-of-four who has fallen from scaffolding while repairing a roof, while other cases include former docker Bill, who has hurt his knee while drinking at his local working men's club.

Thursday 17 May
Gina McKee stars in Chloe Moss's drama Care, the latest Playhouse Presents - 8:00 Sky Arts1 - in which a district nurse is drawn into the lives of two very different women living on Newcastle's desperate Byker estate.
Planet Earth Live - 8:00 BBC1 - features another hour of animal antics as they happen. With updates on the baby bears of Minnesota, the lions of the Masai Mara, the elephants of the nearby Samburu National Reserve and the meerkats of the Kalahari Desert. Presenters Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury also follow the progress of the macaque monkeys of Sri Lanka, the grey whales in the Pacific and the otters of the Amazon as they learn the skills they need to survive. Continues next week.

The history of the BBC's Television Centre building in Shepherd's Bush, which opened in June 1960 is the focus of the much-anticipated Tales of Television Centre - 9:00 BBC4. It went on to become the home of some of the Corporation's most famous programmes, including Top of the Pops, Blue Peter, Newsnight, Later with Jools Holland, Doctor Who, Tomorrow's World and Live & Kicking. Richard Marson's delight film features memorable moments from shows recorded at the Centre, as well as contributions from staff and artists who worked there, including Sir David Attenborough, Terry Wogan, Angela Rippon, Matt Baker, Zoe Ball, Greg Dyke, Esther Rantzen, Barry Norman, Sarah Greene, Penelope Keith, John Craven and Zoe and Johnny Ball. Sir David Frost, Dame Joan Bakewell, Jeremy Paxman, Biddy Baxter, Waris Hussein, Judith Hann and Maggie Philbin are also featured along with much loved faces from Pan's People (Beautiful Babs, Dee Dee and Ruth) and Doctor Who (Katy Manning, Louise Jameson and Janet Fielding). As well as a wealth of anecdotes and revelations, there is a rich variety of memorable, rarely seen (and in some cases newly recovered) archive material, including moments from studio recordings of classic programmes like Vanity Fair, Till Death Us Do Part, Top of the Pops and Doctor Who, plus a host of vintage behind-the-scenes footage offering a compelling glimpse into this wonderful and eccentric studio complex – home to so many of the most celebrated programmes in British TV history. Hugely recommended to anyone with even the slightest interest in the history of British TV.

Mark Nicholas presents highlights of the opening day of the First Test at Lord's as the three-match series between England and West Indies begins - 7:00 Channel Five. The sides last met on this ground in 2009, when England won by ten wickets. Having lost the toss and been put in to bat, a century from Ravi Bopara helped the hosts end the first day on 289 for 7, an innings which set the tone for a very one-sided series in which the tourists were completely outplayed. Commentary and analysis from Michael Vaughan, Geoffrey Boycott and Simon Hughes.

Tonight sees two episodes of Top of the Pops 1977 - firstly Dave Lee Travis presents an edition from April 28, 1977, the final week in which Abba's Knowing Me, Knowing You topped the chart. The show also features performances by Barbra Streisand, Uriah Heep, Joe Tex, the Detroit Spinners, Contempt, Rags, Barry Biggs, Kiki Dee, 10cc and Billy Ocean, as well as dance troupe Legs & Co at 7:30. Then, at 8:30, Noel Edmonds presents an edition from May 5, 1977, a week that saw Deniece Williams top the chart for the first time with her single Free. The show also features performances by Joy Sarney, Rod Stewart, Frankie Valli, Bay City Rollers, Mac & Katie Kissoon, Mr Big, Leo Sayer, Delegation and Tavares.

Friday 18 May
According to Radio Times, comedian Bob Mortimer and former Holby City actress Patsy Kensit join team captain Lee Mack, while comedy actor Greg Davies and Pointless co-host Richard Osman (the fat bloke that isn't Xander Armstrong) are enlisted by his counterpart David Mitchell on the latest episode of Would I Lie To You? - 8:30 BBC1. The show's website, however, lists a different set of guests (Dr Christian Jessen and Diane Parish, Gabby Logan and Andy Hamilton). So, you guess is as good as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's, dear blog reader. Rob Brydon oversees proceedings as the two sides engage in a battle of wits to determine which of them can most successfully stretch the truth about their own lives. Followed, immediately, at 9:00 by the unmissable Have I Got News For You.

Lucy suffers a mild indiscretion while drunk, but claims to have no memory of the event in Not Going Out - 9:30 BBC1. Determined to get to the bottom of the affair, she and Lee embark on an ambitious quest to discover the truth about whether it is possible to retain their memories of a heavy night of drinking - making use of liberal amounts of home-made potato hooch. Comedy, starring Lee Mack, Tim Vine and Sally Bretton. Last in the current series.

Maestro at the Opera - 9:00 BBC2 - sees the final of the baton-waving challenge arrives and only two celebrities are left, going head-to-head for the chance to conduct what they now discover is Act Two of La Boheme at London's Covent Garden. To decide who is worthy of the honour, they have to perform an extract from Puccini's masterpiece, so they travel to Italy for final training - also taking the time to visit the conductor's house in Tuscany for inspiration. Back in Britain, they pick up their batons for what could be the last time, as only one can win the place on the main podium. Last in the series.

Matt buys Sean the sports car of his dreams in an effort to win back his friendship - but he is not ready to forgive and forget that easily in Episodes - 10:00 BBC2. Occasionally rewarding comedy, starring Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.
Vince Cable says he feels 'vindicated' at keeping executives at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp 'at arm's length.' The business secretary was stripped of the power to rule on the bid after he told undercover reporters he had 'declared war' on Murdoch. News Corp later withdrew its bid over phone-hacking at the Scum of the World, which prompted the Leveson Inquiry. Murdoch's closeness to ministers has come under scrutiny over ministerial e-mails which emerged at the inquiry. The e-mails between News Corp and the office of the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt prompted Labour to ask the prime minister to order an inquiry into whether the vile and odious rascal Hunt broke the ministerial code. Cable told Sky News he had been 'independent and objective.' He claimed that he 'certainly dealt with [the proposed bid] in an entirely proper and fair way.' Cable, one of the most senior Lib Dems in the coalition government, came under fire after he spoke out against Murdoch - at a time when had ultimate responsibility for the tycoon's bid to take full control of broadcaster BSkyB. He told journalists from the Daily Torygraph - who were attending a constituency surgery in his Twickenham constituency posing as local residents - that Murdoch's 'whole empire was under attack.' Referring to the BSkyB bid, Cable told them he had 'declared war' on Murdoch, adding 'I think we are going to win.' Cable retained his position in the Cabinet although he was stripped of powers to oversee the BSkyB bid and other media takeovers - which were handed to the vile and odious rascal Hunt. Cable later said he had considered quitting over the row. During his interview on Sunday, Cable was asked about the conduct of the vile and odious rascal Hunt, who is under pressure after his special adviser resigned over what he admitted was an inappropriately close relationship with News Corp during its planned BSkyB takeover. But Cable refused to be drawn on that topic, saying the vile and odious rascal Hunt would soon be speaking in his own defence at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics. Meanwhile, former News International chief executive and well-known Crystal Tippis lookalike Rebekah Brooks will give evidence to the inquiry on Friday 11 May. Brooks was the Scum of the World editor when voicemails on murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone were intercepted. It comes after a former police officer was arrested by police investigating corrupt payments relating to hacking. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brookes's successor, Andy Coulson, who went on to be Downing Street's director of communications, will give evidence a day earlier. Chancellor George Osborne has defended the appointment of Coulson, who took the job at Number 10 after he left the Scum of the World. Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Osborne said: 'As I have said many, many times in the past, I approached Andy Coulson to see if he was interested in the job as director of communications for the Conservative Party. We needed a new director of communications and he was the best person for the job on the shortlist of candidates that we had. I will repeat exactly what I said a year ago, which is that knowing what I know now, of course we regret that position.'

And, so to yer actual Top Telly News: Moscow Chelski's FA Cup final talisman Didier Drogba was the match-winner once more as they overcame the Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws to lift the trophy at Wembley. Drogba's goal early in the second half - his fourth in FA Cup finals - proved decisive as the remarkable turnaround in Moscow Chelski FC's fortunes under interim manager Roberto di Matteo was rewarded with silverware. Liverpool Alabam Yee-Haws goalkeeper Pepe Reina was badly at fault as Ramires scored at the near post after eleven minutes and Moscow Chelski FC looked in cruise control when Drogba continued his love affair with the FA Cup final and Wembley with an angled finish beyond Reina. The introduction of substitute thirty five million pound Andy Carroll sparked Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws into life and he pulled goal back just after the hour - and thought he had equalised as miserable sour-faced Kenny Dalglish's side laid siege to Moscow Chelski FC's goal in the closing stages. He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Moscow Chelski keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes and deflect his header onto the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haw's insistent protests that the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd and his assistant, Andrew Garratt, waved play on, with even a succession of TV replays proving inconclusive. Moscow Chelski FC survived and can now turn their attentions to the Champions League final against Bayern Munich later this month as they face an increasingly arduous task to finish in the Premier League's top four. As Di Matteo celebrated and captain John Terry raised the trophy, the Italian increased his claims to become the permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas by landing a trophy. For Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws, their season will now be regarded as a relative disappointment after failure to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup and not mounting a challenge to reach the Champions League places. The final started with eighty five million smackers worth of striking talent on the bench as Carroll was a Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws substitute and Moscow Chelski's Fernando Torres missed out on a starting place against his former club. The Reds were on the back foot early on when a catalogue of defensive errors led to Ramires giving Moscow Chelski the lead. Jay Spearing conceded possession in midfield and Ramires escaped Jose Enrique far too easily before scoring at the near post with a shot Reina should have saved. Moscow Chelski FC were coping comfortably as Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws left Luis Suarez too isolated. Steven Gerrard was also being forced to drop too deep to offer support to the beleaguered Spearing and twenty million quid flop Jordan Henderson rather than add attacking potency alongside the Uruguayan.
Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws did have one moment of danger in the first half when Moscow Chelski FC failed to clear Glen Johnson's cross and Branislav Ivanovic blocked Craig Bellamy's goal bound shot. Moscow Chelski FC doubled their lead seven minutes after the restart, with the second coming from their most reliable source of Wembley goals. Frank Lampard escaped Spearing with ease and fed Drogba inside the area, who controlled before sending an angled left-foot finish across Reina. Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws introduced Carroll for Spearing and were rewarded after sixty four minutes when he put them back in contention. Stewart Downing blocked Jose Bosingwa's attempted clearance, which fell into the path of Carroll. He turned John Terry superbly before firing high past Cech. At last Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws had impetus and were getting the dangerous Suarez into threatening positions, allowing him to force Cech to save low to his right with an effort from the edge of the area. Carroll thought he had equalised with his header against the bar with eight minutes left. Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws claimed the ball had cross the line and Moscow Chelski FC were grateful for a miraculous intervention from Cech to turn his effort on to the woodwork. He was then denied by a magnificent tackle from captain Terry as Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws continued to press - but Moscow Chelski FC survived as the memories of the nightmare under Andre Villas-Boas faded even further into the background.

Sheikh Yer Man City moved to within touching distance of their first title for forty four years, as Yaya Toure scored twice to secure a crucial 2-0 victory over yer actual Keith Telly Topping brave and plucky beloved (but, still unsellable) Newcastle United. The Côte d'Ivoire midfielder beat Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with a low curling shot with twenty minutes left. He then added a second from close range with five minutes left as City hit United on the break. Sheikh Yer Man City now know that victory over Queen's Park Strangers in their final match of the season next Sunday will secure the Premier League title. This was a fine display by City, inspired by Vincent Kompany's generalship, David Silva's prodigious work in midfield, stellar finishing by Toure and a work rate and ambition that showed throughout the team. The omens must have given Roberto Mancini's men cause for hope and optimism before kick-off. It was at this ground on 11 May 1968 that City won 4-3 against Newcastle to clinch their last league title. Some forty four years on, history repeated itself as City moved to within three points of the prize that has eluded them for so long. While it was understandable that much of the attention focused on City, Newcastle were chasing a prize of their own. Arsenal's 3-3 draw with Norwich City had opened the door to Champions League qualification. It was fitting, then, that Sir Bobby Robson - the last manager to lead Newcastle into Europe's top club competition - had been immortalised before kick-off as the club unveiled a statue to honour his memory. But it was City who dominated the majority of the opening thirty minutes. Sharper to the ball, swifter to use it, City forced Tim Krul into action on a number of occasions. The Dutchman was forced to turn away low shots from both David Silva and Sergio Aguero, while Carlos Tevez went close with a curling free-kick. It took Newcastle half-an-hour to produce their first effort on goal, but more soon followed. Demba Ba fizzed a twenty five-yard shot over Joe Hart's crossbar. Moments later the Newcastle striker saw his goal bound shot blocked by Kompany after a clever run by Jonas Gutierrez. The ball ran to Hatem Ben Arfa but his low shot was brilliantly saved by Hart, low to his left. It was City, however, who had the best chance of the half shortly before the interval. The mercurial Silva broke clear down the left and cut the ball back to Gareth Barry near the penalty spot. The England midfielder's first shot was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini, while his second found a path to goal only for Davide Santon to clear off the line. City maintained their momentum after the restart with Tevez fired high and wide, before testing Krul from distance. As the half wore on Mancini's side were struggling to convert their lion's share of possession into clear-cut chances. Then came what proved to be an inspired substitution. Disgraceful leg-breaking thug Nigel De Jong replaced Nasri on the hour mark to allow Toure to push into a more advanced position behind Aguero and Tevez. The Ivorian made an instant impact in his new role. Collecting a neat lay-off from Aguero, he curled a wonderful curling shot beyond Krul's outstretched left hand to spark scenes of jubilation in the away end and on the City bench. It was the first goal Newcastle had conceded in four hundred and ninety seven minutes of football at St James' Park. City should have made sure of the result four minutes later when Silva lofted a delightful through-ball into the path of Aguero only for the Argentine to nudge his shot inches wide of the right-hand post when clean through on goal. Newcastle almost made City pay for their profligacy, when Ba and Papiss Cissé connected only for the latter to head high and wide from close range. Then, Aguero put Toure through on goal only for the City midfielder to slip at the crucial moment. Edin Dzeko turned a shot narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner. It didn't matter, though, when Toure made sure of the result and perhaps the title a minute from time, as he finished a typically swift City counter-attack with a close-range finish. Which was sad for all Toonies but at least, along with the vast majority of football supporters in the country, they had the great consolation of watching Alex Ferguson with a face like a smacked arse when her heard the Sheikh Yer Man City result before The Scum's game against Swansea. That was funny. Elsewhere, bloody useless Aston Villains couldn't even do Newcastle a favour by beating ten-man Stottingtot Hotshots, whilst five minutes at the end of two matches could have a dramatic impact on the relegation battle as hothead nutter Djibril Cissé's last minute winner for Queen's Park Strangers over Stoke and James Morrison's last minute equaliser for West Bromwich Albinos at Notlob put the Lancashire club on the brink of the drop. In the day's other game, which hardly anybody was interested in Poor Bloody Fulham Haven't Got A Chance beat The Mackems 2-1.

EastEnders actors Sophie Lawrence and Sid Owen are returning for guest stints on the soap. The Daily Lies reports that Diane and Ricky Butcher will reappear for the wedding day of sister Janine (Charlie Brooks), who is marrying Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd). Mind you, if the Daily Lies told me one and one was two I'd want a second opinion. Lawrence's character, Diane, has not been seen on Albert Square since 2008. She made a cameo for the funeral of Frank Butcher. Meanwhile, Owen took an extended break from the programme last year, filming his final scenes in the winter. Owen's on-screen wife Patsy Palmer, who plays Bianca, announced that she is taking a hiatus from EastEnders last month.

A 'supermoon' has graced the skies, appearing bigger and brighter than usual, as it comes closer to the Earth - and is likely to bring higher tides. The phenomenon, known as 'a perigee full moon', means the Moon appears up to fourteen per cent bigger and thirty per cent brighter than when it is furthest from the planet. The optimum effect was seen - cloud permitting - at 04:30am. So, if you happened to be oot yer stinkin' pit at the time, it was probably worth looking skywards. The Royal Astronomical Society's Dr Robert Massey said that the Moon's size may be more obvious than its brightness. 'The eye is so good at compensating for changes in brightness that you simply don't notice [that element' so much,' he said. When the Moon appears at its biggest it will be just two hundred and twenty one thousand miles away, compared to its usual distance from Earth of two hundred and thirty eight thousand miles. Dr Massey said: 'When the Moon is closest to the Earth and full or new, you get an increase in the tidal pull in the ocean because the gravity of the moon and the sun line up.' He added: 'The Moon is always beautiful and a full moon is always dramatic.' Scientists have dismissed the idea that the perigee could cause strange behaviour - like lycanthropy or lunacy - or natural disasters. The Moon's distance from Earth varies because it follows an elliptical orbit instead of a circular one.

Brad Pitt has, according to the Sun, started lining up events to keep himself busy this summer while his missus Angelina Jolie shoots a new film in London. And he's getting into the spirit of living over here by planning a trip to Manchester to watch a Stone Roses gig. Pitt - see left, presumably not during his baggy phase - has requested a bunch of tickets for their Heaton Park gigs at the end of July. An alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'Brad's a big fan of the band and will be at a loose end while Angelina is filming in the UK. He's asked for four tickets and thinks it will be the ideal way to spend a June weekend.' If he's looking for anyone to go with him, yer actual Keith Telly Topping would be available that weekend. I'm just saying.

And finally, Chris Martin has revealed that he suffers from tinnitus, a really nasty ear condition which manifests itself as a 'terrible ringing in his ears and excruciating headaches.' Which is, of course, very sad and not at all funny. And, normally, it would deserve our sympathy. But, this is Chris Martin we're talking about. At least now he knows how the rest of us usually feel when we're listening to Coldplay.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's Johnny & The Hurricanes.

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