Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Line I Shoot Will Never Miss

Let's start off with some ratings, dear blog reader. BBC3 pipped both Channel Four and Channel Five to finish fourth among the networks on Saturday evening. Classic Doctor Who (four hundred and nineteen thousand), a second screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (1.22m) and a repeat of Russell Howard's Good News (six hundred and sixty five thousand) gave BBC3 an overall audience share of four and a half per cent. Channel Four's movie Definitely Maybe managed eight hundred and forty three thousand from 7.30pm and Eight Out of Ten Cats 1.31m at 9.45pm, as the network had a 4.4 per cent share in peak time. Big Brother topped Channel Five's night with 1.19m at 10pm, prior to which 1.12m watched Law & Order: SVU. The Richard Desmond owned broadcaster commanded a 4.3 per cent share of the audience. BBC1's mammoth 31.2 per cent share came thanks to a double-header of Euro 2012 matches. Holland versus Denmark and Germany versus Portugal scored 5.62m and 7.69m respectively as noted previously. Meanwhile, in stark contrast, ITV had a thoroughly ordinary night and could only muster an 8.6 per cent average audience share - one of their lowest totals ever. Just under two million punters watched the woeful You Cannot Be Serious at 7pm, a 2.47m audience was in place for You've Been Framed at 7.30pm, and 2.21m for watched old Poirot from 8pm. Not very good.

The Graham Norton Show rallied to a new overnight series high for BBC1 on Friday night. Featuring Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry and Ross Noble, the latest programme attracted 4.19m at 10.35pm, beating its previous high of 4.1m last month. An extended Have I Got News For You, guest-hosted by Kirsty Young and featuring the divine Victoria Coren, was watched by 4.69m from 9.20pm. BBC1's teatime news bulletin had 5.74m at the unusual time of 7pm, pipping ITV's Emmerdale. The channel kicked-off Euro 2012 with 4.26m for Poland versus Greece from 4.15pm. Meanwhile, ITV's first Euro game - between Russia and the Czech Republic - scored 4.54m from 7.30pm. Over on Channel Four, Alan Carr's star-studded Summertime Specstacular was seen by 1.59m at 9pm. The two-hour special added one hundred and eighty four thousand on +1. Big Brother anchored Channel Five's schedule with 1.35m at 10pm, prior to which NCIS pulled seven hundred and twenty thousand punters. Great British Menu ended with 2.37m on BBC2 at 7pm, then Coast (1.97m) and Gardeners' World (2.27m) held steady in the 8pm hour. Episodes had 1.02m at 10pm. Overall, BBC1 secured a rare Friday primetime victory versus ITV, with 24.1 per cent against 17.8 per cent.

David Tennant has insisted that he has not been typecast by his time on Doctor Who. The Scottish actor played the lead role in the BBC's long-running popular family SF drama from 2005 to 2010. 'Doctor Who opened more doors than it closed,' David told the Radio Times. 'I was never bored, but I wanted to make sure I left before it became [just] a job.' Tennant - who will next be seen in BBC1 drama True Love - added that he is still 'very glad' to have starred as the Tenth Doctor. 'Mercifully, I haven't been typecast,' he said. The forty one-year-old recently advised new Doctor Who companion actress Jenna-Louise Coleman to keep her nose clean and watch her back. 'You're suddenly rocketed into a world of attention,' he told the Digital Spy website. 'You just need to watch your back a little bit, but it's wonderful and it's such an exciting thing to be starting out on.'

Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown had suggested that NHS chiefs apologised to him because they think it 'highly likely' unauthorised information was disclosed by staff about his son's cystic fibrosis. The Sun ran a story in 2006 about Fraser Brown's medical condition, but denied accessing his medical records without Brown's knowledge. Brown told the Leveson Inquiry that he did not grant permission for the story. Instead, he said, the Sun presented him and his wife Sarah, with 'a fait accompli.' The Leveson Inquiry is currently focusing on the relationship between the press and politicians. Brown also said that he did not instruct his aides to use the media to brief against ministers, in particular to attempt to force Tony Blair's resignation towards the end of his time in office. There is 'no evidence' that his aides ever briefed against Blair, Brown claimed, and he also denied instructing his aide Charlie Whelan to brief the media against the then-Chancellor Alistair Darling. 'Nobody in my position would have instructed any briefing against a senior minister and Alistair Darling was a friend of mine as well as a colleague,' he said. Aside from the coverage of his son, Brown also criticised further examples of Sun journalism during his time in office, including a claim he fell asleep at a memorial service when, he explained, he had actually bowed his head to pray. He went on to say that media in Britain, at its best, is the 'best in the world' but said that one of the problems of the press is the conflation of fact and opinion. He also said that he and his wife had been determined that they did not want their children to 'grow up as minor celebrities' and that he had asked newspaper editors to agree that their children would not be the subject of coverage while they were at nursery school and primary school. Responding to Brown's evidence about his son's records at NHS Fife, its chief executive John Wilson said: 'We now accept that it is highly likely that, sometime in 2006, a member of staff in NHS Fife spoke, without authorisation, about the medical condition of Mr Brown's son, Fraser. With the passage of time it has not been possible to identify all the circumstances.' He said that the trust did not think the child's medical records had been inappropriately accessed but were clear that 'conversations about patients' were as much a breach of confidentiality. Following NHS Fife's statement, News International spokeswoman said: 'We welcome the fact that NHS Fife have today said that they believe there was "no inappropriate access" to the medical records of Gordon Brown's son.' Which, actually isn't what they said at all or anything even remotely like it. 'The Sun stands by previous statements issued on the matter.' The newspaper has previously strongly denied accessing Brown's family medical records without his knowledge, saying the information had come from a member of the public whose own child also had cystic fibrosis and whom they have constantly refused to identify. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks told the Leveson Inquiry during her appearance in May that she had the 'express permission' of the Browns to run the story about Fraser. Brown went on to say: 'I find it sad that even now, in 2012, members of the News International staff are coming to this inquiry and maintaining this fiction that a story that could only have been achieved or obtained through medical information or through me or my wife was obtained in another way. We can't learn the lesson about what has happened with the media anything unless there is some honesty about what actually happened, whether payment was made and whether this is a practice which could continue.' When asked why his wife had remained friends with Brooks following the incident, he said: 'Sarah is one of the most forgiving people I know. We had to get on with the job of doing what is expected.' The News Corp boss, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch told the inquiry in April that Brown had phoned him in an 'unbalanced' state of mind and threatened 'war' on his media empire after the Sun had switched its support from Labour to the Conservatives in 2009. The former PM later denied having made such a threat and repeated this denial to the inquiry counsel, Robert Jay QC. 'This call did not happen, this threat was not made. I couldn't be unbalanced on a call that I didn't have and I find it shocking that we should get to this situation some time later when there is no evidence of this call happening at the time that he says it happened and you to be told under oath that this was the case.' Murdoch has since issued a statement saying he 'stands behind his testimony to the Leveson Inquiry.' Brown also said that none of these dealings with Murdoch were about politics. 'I would rather have been an honest one-term prime minister than a dishonest two-term prime minister,' he said.

Chancellor George Osborne has claimed it would be 'complete nonsense' to believe there was a 'vast conspiracy' to hand control of BSkyB to Rupert Murdoch. He told the Leveson Inquiry that News Corp's bid for the broadcaster had been a 'political inconvenience.' He claimed that he 'did not know' what the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Hunt's or David Cameron's views on the bid were. He also defended ex-Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson's appointment as Tory party director of communications. Osborne told the inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice that billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's papers pursued their own objectives. He said that, however the BSkyB bid ended, it would have offended at least one media camp. 'I regarded the whole thing as a political inconvenience and something we just had to deal with,' he said. He claimed that it was a myth to believe no party could win a general election without the backing of the Sun newspaper. Osborne also dismissed suggestions of a conspiracy around Business Secretary Vince Cable being stripped of responsibility for the BSkyB bid. Osborne said: 'You have to be a real fantasist to believe that come these events we had knowingly allowed Vince Cable to be secretly recorded, we knowingly told the Torygraph not to publish that information. That information then emerges in the middle of the afternoon and we then, all part of this cunning plan, put Mr Hunt in charge. It doesn't stack up.' Later, he defended the part he played in the Conservative decision to hire former Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson as the party's director of communications. Osborne claimed that he asked Coulson about phone-hacking before hiring him and was reassured by Coulson that the scandal was 'over.' Osborne said, because there had been a criminal court case, he assumed there was 'nothing else.' Coulson resigned from the Scum of the World in January 2007 after the conviction of the paper's royal editor for hacking. Osborne told the inquiry: 'I was aware and we'd discussed it beforehand internally that hiring him would attract some controversy. It's also worth noting that the Press Complaints Commission, subsequently before we had appointed him, said there was no evidence. I guess I also had assumed that because there had been a criminal court case. But I asked him.' Coulson resigned as the government's director of communications in January 2011 following further revelations about illegal phone-hacking. Osborne said Coulson was appointed because of his abilities, not his contacts. 'I have seen people suggest that the reason we hired him was because of his connections with the Murdochs, or Rebekah Brooks or his knowledge of the internal workings of News International,' he told the inquiry. 'I can tell you that was not a consideration. What we were interested in hiring is someone who was going to do the job going forward.' He also said he asked then Sun editor Rebekah Brooks her opinion of Coulson 'as a professional.' He claimed that whilst he was a friend of Coulson's, he had not 'sadly' been able to talk to him for a year. Coulson was arrested in June 2011 by Metropolitan Police investigating the Scum of the World hacking scandal and later released on bail. Earlier, the chancellor denied meeting top News Corp executives in a Swiss skiing chalet before the 2010 general election. He told the inquiry that there was such a meeting - but it took place in January 2009. Newspaper reports have suggested a deal had been struck months before the election over the Murdoch's plans to take full control of BSkyB. They claimed Osborne's friendship with Rupert and James Murdoch blossomed during a series of private social gatherings. Asked if he had attended 'a private meeting' at Davos in January 2010, the chancellor said: 'No, it's not true.' The chancellor said the chalet meeting with the Murdochs and then Sun editor well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks took place during the World Economic Forum in Davos with David Cameron in attendance. He said they discussed the domestic political situation, but Rupert Murdoch was more interested in the global financial crisis. He also recalled several meetings with James Murdoch the small at which the News Corp executive complained about the BBC. 'It was a more of a complaint that we had in this county a taxpayer-funded state broadcaster, but I made it clear to him then that we were not going to change that,' Osborne told the inquiry. He said the BBC was a particular 'bugbear' of the Murdochs, but they never discussed Ofcom.

A senior Liberal Democrat has publicly called for the lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Hunt, to resign over revelations about the close relationships between ministers and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire in the UK. The intervention by a close ally of the business secretary Vince Cable reveals tension at the heart of government as the Leveson inquiry begins a much anticipated week of evidence from, among others, the prime minister David Cameron about his relationship with the Murdoch family and some of their senior executives. In advance of what is likely to be a week of embarrassing details about house parties, 'high fives' and personal text messages, Lord Oakeshott, a former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, has told a TV documentary that 'clearly Mr Hunt should have resigned some time ago.' He said 'no self-respecting minister could possibly carry on' after the lack of culture secretary endured a humiliating week of evidence last month about how his former adviser provided detailed evidence to News Corp about the handling of the BSkyB bid. The inquiry also highlighted text messages and e-mails showing the vile and odious rascal Hunt's support for the bid, which he had responsibility for overseeing as it was vetted by the government and regulators. Oakeshott will say he got 'an increasingly creepy feeling' about the lobbying on behalf of Murdoch for the deal. Oakeshott also told the Channel Four Dispatches programme, which was broadcast on Monday, that Cameron's continued backing for the vile and odious rascal Hunt to keep his job raised 'very serious questions' about the prime minister's judgement, and suggested that he believed there could have been 'an agreement' between the Conservative leadership and the Murdoch press to support each others interests. 'Faustian pacts with the devil – they're not always written down – but it was very clear that a stage came where Cameron and Osborne decided they needed to have Murdoch very firmly on side,' added Oakeshott. Cameron has repeatedly and clearly denied any such deal took place, while his aides have pointed out that politicians need to court all media interests to get their message across. With this week bringing evidence from Cameron, George Osborne, Gordon Brown and the Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, Dispatches also suggests that Cameron will be pressed about how strongly he questioned his former media adviser, the ex-Scum of the World editor Andy Coulson, over his involvement in or knowledge of phone-hacking carried out by the paper. Coulson was employed by Cameron soon after he resigned as the Scum of the World editor following the first hacking revelations, but has always maintained that he did not know about the practice. In his evidence to Leveson, Coulson said he 'did not recall' being asked about it more than once, while Cameron has told the House of Commons that they had 'many conversations' on the subject. Osborne appeared on Monday before the inquiry, where details of a series of private social gatherings, including a party in a Swiss chalet before the 2010 general election, were expected to be revealed, according to a report in Sunday's Observer. Alleged 'sources' allegedly 'close' to the chancellor said it was 'complete rubbish' to suggest any 'deal' to secure Tory support for the £8bn News Corp bid for BSkyB, launched in June 2010, had been struck in the chalet as Osborne had not learned that the bid was happening until well after the election. It emerged last month at the inquiry that Osborne had texted the vile and odious rascal Hunt: 'I hope you like the solution' when the lack of culture secretary was given the oversight of the deal following Cable's removal from the role. Osborne also played a crucial role in recruiting Coulson as Cameron's adviser. Dispatches also claimed that, whilst in in opposition, Cameron and Osborne took part in 'focus groups' with Scum of the World staff, organised by Coulson, so they could hear the voice of 'normal people.'

Scotland Yard has submitted files to the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to alleged phone-hacking by five journalists. The files were compiled by Operation Weeting, the force's investigation into allegations of mobile voicemail interception by the newspapers. They all relate to allegations of offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, according to the CPS. Introduced in 2000, the legislation - known as RIPA - covers the use of surveillance and interception of communications. None of the identities of the people involved have been disclosed by the CPS, nor the nature of their alleged offences. A spokesperson for the CPS added: 'We are not prepared to discuss the identities of those involved or the alleged offences in any greater detail at this stage as a number of related investigations are ongoing. We are unable to give any timescale for charging decisions, except to say that these cases are being considered very carefully and thoroughly, and the decisions will be made as soon as is practicable.'

Belatedly waking up to the BBC's success with cookery talent quests, ITV has sheepishly greenlit a Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads series called Food, Glorious Food!, climaxing in the victorious dish being stocked by Marks & Spencer. And, just as the format recalls Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossorads's other shows, so the rules for the winner echo the seemingly one-sided contracts X Factor contestants labour under. They will 'be required to exclusively license their recipe to [production company] Optomen and/or M&S and must be willing to enter into further agreements with Optomen and/or [Cowell's company] SyCo as required by them and abide by the terms of those agreements.' Hopefuls can also be excluded if they 'make any disparaging comments' about ITV (so, that's yer actual Keith Telly Topping out of the running for a kick-off), Optomen, SyCo, Sony or M&S, which if extended to their products and personnel would appear to rule out a hefty chunk of the entire British population.

Idris Elba has promised a 'high-octane' third series of Luther. The drama's creator Neil Cross recently revealed that he is planning to produce a film adaptation of the BBC crime drama, once the TV version has ended. 'We're going back to a four-episode format [for series three], high-octane Luther stuff,' Elba confirmed to Vulture. 'We're going to close out a couple of storylines.' The actor confirmed that he and Cross are 'really preparing for the big screen,' calling a Luther movie a 'very strong goal. It's not in stone yet, but it's something we definitely want to aim towards,' he said. Elba added that much of the show's success is down to its 'ridiculous' quality and the 'American-esque' nature of his character John Luther. 'Luther - he's way bigger [in his reactions] than an English cop would ever be,' Idris said. 'I think part of the TV show's popularity in England is that it's sort of ridiculous to see an Englishman that big in a lot of these scenes. But it actually works because of how grandiose some of the crimes are.'

An application to give listed status to the Coronation Street set, which would help secure its future when it is vacated next year, has been refused. The ITV soap is due to move from its current home in central Manchester to a new site in Salford Quays next spring. English Heritage said that the set, which has been used since 1982, was 'not historic enough' to be listed. Listing would restrict how it could be altered. ITV is selling the former Granada plot and the set's future is uncertain. The broadcaster is considering all bids but has told the council it is looking at whether a tourist attraction based around the famous terraced street would be viable. Listed status is given to buildings of special architectural and historic interest, but a building has normally to be at least thirty years old to be eligible. A statement from English Heritage said the current Coronation Street set was 'certainly unusual,' but added: 'The criteria against which we must assess the architectural significance of buildings - or in this case, a television set - is extremely strict. The oldest buildings are just less than thirty years old - and most do not have interiors and therefore exist as façades, most of which have been altered. The set as it stands today is an active reminder of the long-running television programme, rather than a survival of an earlier era of television productions.' English Heritage's Nick Bridgland added: 'While listing is not appropriate for the set, a better solution could be for a local group or organisation with an interest to care for it and allow Corrie fans from all over the world to visit and enjoy it.' The soap, along with ITV's other Manchester operations, is due to move to purpose-built studios. An ITV spokesperson said: 'ITV continues to consider the future use of the Coronation Street set ahead of our planned move to MediaCity.' The Granada set did become a tourist attraction in 1988 and the tours are fondly remembered. But they ended in 2001 after visitor numbers dropped and Coronation Street's filming schedule increased.

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland has been awarded the French honour of Commander of the Arts for his contribution to cinema. The seventy six-year-old received the award from former French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand at a ceremony in Paris. Sutherland has more than one hundred film credits to his name, ranging from The Dirty Dozen to the recent blockbuster The Hunger Games. He is the father of 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland. Donald Sutherland thanked his French wife for his appreciation of French culture, saying that she had introduced him to French 'cinema, but also cheese and baguettes.' Previous recipients of the Commander of the Arts medal include Sir Michael Caine, Marianne Faithfull and Clint Eastwood.

Meanwhile, Kate Winslet is to be awarded a CBE later this month. According the Sun, the actress will be given the title as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours as recognition for her 'significant contribution' to the British film industry. And snivelling at award ceremonies.

England's opening Euro 2012 game ended in a respectable stalemate as they played out a sometimes fascinating, occasionally frustrating draw with France in Donetsk. Joleon Lescott gave England the lead with a header from captain Steven Gerrard's free-kick - but France were level before the interval with a fine twenty-yard finish from his Sheikh Yer Man City team-mate Samir Nasri. The draw means France has still not won a match at a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup. The national team, however, is unbeaten in its last twenty two matches. 'I think we have to be happy with that,' France coach Laurent Blanc said. 'We were too timid at the start, there was a bit of pressure that got to us, and then we got better actually after we conceded the goal - that's when we started playing.' It was a game that, at times, threatened to live up to the early sparkle of this tournament, even though it was played out in searing temperatures inside the Donbass Arena by two teams who will probably enjoy a degree of satisfaction in taking a point from their first game. James Milner wasted an early chance for England, while manager Roy Hodgson was grateful to goalkeeper Joe Hart for a fine block from Alou Diarra's flying header. Hodgson made the bold choice of The Arse teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of Stewart Downing. Opportunities for Oxlade-Chamberlain to shine were rare but the youngster can be pleased with his efforts in strength-sapping conditions. Karim Benzema carried France's greatest threat after the break and a late save from Hart ensured England go into their second game against Sweden in Kiev on Friday unbeaten. Once again England were tactically disciplined and highly-organised - an early trademark under Hodgson since he succeeded Fabio Capello. And, the manager knows this was a game safely negotiated without damage as he waits for the return of striker Wayne Rooney after he completes his suspension against Sweden. England's preparation for Euro 2012 was disrupted by injuries - and not even Hodgson's backroom staff were safe as veteran coach Ray Clemence injured himself in the warm-up and had to be carried off. The failure to cut the supply line to Nasri did not cost England when he pulled an early shot wide. This punishment was to come later with his equaliser. England created the best opportunity of what was some early sparring. Ashley Young played in Milner behind the ponderous France central defensive pair of Adil Rami and Philippe Mexes. He evaded goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but found the angle too acute and failed to hit the target. Oxlade-Chamberlain was not seeing a great deal of possession - and he was to pick up a needless yellow card for a foul on the outstanding French right-back Mathieu Debuchy - but one impressive change of feet and a pass that found Young just offside hinted at his rich potential. England took the lead on the half-hour when captain Gerrard's inviting free-kick was headed by past Lloris by Lescott, who had escaped his marker Diarra. It was an advantage they held for just nine minutes, paying the price for carelessness in possession that invited the trouble it eventually got in the shape of Nasri's equaliser. Diarra almost made amends for his part in Lescott's goal with a point-blank header that was blocked by Hart before Nasri was able to take control and was not put off by Gerrard's attempted challenge to score low to Hart's right from twenty yards. France visibly grew in confidence as the interval approached and both Hart and Ashley Cole combined to block Benzema as he closed in on the angle. Benzema once again demonstrated his danger with a powerful drive that was saved by Hart - but this came in the middle of cagey, attritional exchanges. Glen Johnson was also forced into a timely penalty area interception as Benzema threatened once more. Hodgson made a double change with thirteen minutes left when he sent on Jermain Defoe for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson for the visibly tiring Scott Parker. England were grateful for a crucial Danny Welbeck deflection that took Yohan Cabaye's shot wide as France continued to play with the greater momentum. Hodgson's side continued to show resilience to get the reward for a dogged display - and they can look forward to taking the next step in Euro 2012 against Sweden. England are not pretty to watch. They do not produce sumptuous patterns and treasure the ball like Spain. They do not possess the the vibrancy of Germany or the individual brilliance Russia demonstrated in their first match. Everyone knows that. But considering the manager has been in the job just forty days, has lost four key players to injury, has been distracted with the row surrounding Rio Ferdinand and has Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games he has made a pretty good fist of producing an England side with desire and discipline. So a point against France is gratefully accepted. Bigger challenges lie ahead. The England boss refused to criticise the display of referee Nicola Rizzoli, who gave some baffling decisions. 'The referee did okay,' Hodgson said. 'It's foolish to start commenting on the referee's performance. Sometimes you'll get a bit of luck, sometimes not. I know that Steven [Gerrard] was aggrieved not to get a free-kick, but the referee was fair to both sides. It wasn't one-sided.'
Meanwhile, during the match the following was seen on Twitter.
Nice one Gaz. I think there's about sixty million people who'd like to buy you a pint tonight, mate.

In the day's second game what started as a deathly dull encounter exploded into life in the second half. Andriy Shevchenko was the hero for hosts Ukraine as they came from behind to beat Sweden and go top of Group D. The thirty five-year-old scored two headers in the space of six minutes to turn the game in his side's favour after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had given Sweden a second-half lead. The Swedes applied a lot of late pressure in search of an equaliser. But the home nation and their talismanic striker were not to be denied an important opening win.

UEFA has charged the Germany football association for the behaviour of their supporters who threw missiles onto the pitch during Saturday's Euro 2012 match against Portugal. Fans were repeatedly warned about their actions through speaker announcements during the Group B fixture in Lviv which Germany won 1-0. The Portuguese face proceedings for a delayed kick-off to the second half. UEFA will deal with the issues on Thursday 14 June. The objects thrown onto the pitch by Germany fans appeared to be rolled up balls of paper. Authorities announced in the stadium that the match could be abandoned if it continued.

A third of British workers will reportedly stay behind at work at least one night this week to watch or listen to Euro 2012 matches, with three quarters of workplaces getting TVs on site to prevent the mass exodus. England got their campaign at the tournament under way on Monday evening for the opening group match against France. But as the game kicked off at 5pm, many people faced a dilemma over how they could catch the live coverage on ITV and Radio 5Live. According to a survey by ASDA, three in ten workers opted to remain at their workplace to watch the game rather than leaving early in the afternoon. Four out of ten of those polled said that they would head to the pub to watch the match, and the remainder expected to head home, or miss the match entirely and catch up on highlights later on. The supermarket chain has also seen a surge in sales of cheap TVs, which it believes is down to employers seeking to avoid the mass exodus by offering people options to watch the game. Its current bestselling electronic goods are said to be the nineteen-inch Luxor LCD TV/DVD combi for ninety eight smackers and the thirty two-inch Luxor HDTV for one hundred and seventy seven quid. Rush hour travellers without any interest in football are likely to have a much happier homebound commute due to the trend. But later trains are expected to see a surge in passengers due to the 'slomuters' after the match finishes. 'The rush hour chase for a seat is likely to be in the office,' said Michael Arnott, ASDA's TV expert. 'We've seen brisk trade in affordable TVs this week and anecdotally we're hearing that many of these TVs are headed for offices.' Arnott added: 'It's a great opportunity to bond with workmates around the TV. With prices this low, you can pick up a TV for the office for not much more than a few rounds of drinks.'

Pete Cosey, the jazz guitarist who was best known for his work in Miles Davis' electric band in the 1970s has died aged sixty eight. His daughter said he died at a Chicago hospital of complications from surgery on 30 May. During the 1960s Cosey was a member of the studio band for Chess Records, playing for the likes of Etta James, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. But it was his creative sound that attracted the attention of Davis. He liberally applied the distortion pedal to his licks, punctuated by wah-wah effects, and appeared on some of Davis' most experimental LPs including Agharta, Pangaea, Get Up With It and Dark Magus. 'Pete's sound was something quite amazing,' Wendy Oxenhorn, from the Jazz Foundation of America told the Chicago Tribune. 'He took blues, funk, rap and jazz and combined it into a new sound.' In recent years, Cosey had suffered from health problems, but the musician had been playing music in children's hospitals and schools. He also featured in Martin Scorsese's 2003 blues documentary, The Blues: A Musical Journey.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's one that yer actual Pete Cosey provided some quality rock-style licks for. Groovy.

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