Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tried Hard To Imagine The Way You Felt The Day You Sailed

Following his recent appearance this week in the BBC's series True Love, former Doctor Who star and national heart-throb David Tennant has a number of new projects to keep him busy in the coming months. The actor will be reading a new adaptation of the James Bond novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service as part of 007 Reloaded, a series of audio books to be released in September. The series will be released by BBC AudioGo, with Ian Fleming's niece Lucy saying: 'I am delighted to say that Ian Fleming Publications and AudioGO are thrilled to be working together to present some of Britain’s best-known actors reading Ian's classic Bond novels, for your ears only.' Other readers include Bill Nighy for Moonraker and Hugh Bonneville for Goldfinger. As announced earlier in the week, David is to star in a new BBC serial with Emily Watson entitled The Politician's Husband. Writer Paula Milne said: 'It is said that all power corrupts but the power balance within a marriage can be unspoken and subtle whereas the power games in politics are more overt and manipulatory. The drama explores the personal realm of a political marriage played against the ruthless hubris of Westminster politics - and what can happen when those two realms collide.' The serial begins filming in London during July. Switching channels, David has also signed up to play a police officer in a new drama for ITV reportedly inspired by the Danish detective series The Killing. Broadchurch is written by Chris Chibnall, will be produced by Richard Stokes and directed by James Strong for Kudos (producers of [spooks], Hustle and Life on Mars. And Bonekickers). The show is described as 'not just another detective show with a quirky sleuth. There is more to it. It will be in the same vein as The Killing in that it will be suspenseful — just when you think you know what's going on, David's character will turn the whole thing on its head. It's a challenging role but which one he is relishing.' Broadchurch is due to go into production later this year, and will be broadcast next January. Finally, David has also been tipped to play a key role in a film version of the musical Sunshine on Leith, based on the songs of The Proclaimers. The actor is, of course, a big fan of the Auchtermuchty duo (well, isn't everyone?) and has previously expressed interest in such a project. Fellow Scot Billy Connolly has also been suggested as a co-star, though the film has yet to be firmly cast.

Armando Iannucci has hinted that the Leveson inquiry has provided inspiration for the next series of his political satire The Thick of It. The writer, satirist and OBE, revealed that a 'major inquiry will feature quite heavily' in the programme, which is set in the corridors of British government. With its all-star cast of politicians, Iannucci indicated the ongoing inquiry into press standards was ripe for lampooning. 'It is interesting watching them all swear on oath and then saying what they say,' he told an audience of journalists at a private screening of his new US political satire, Veep. 'Tony Blair was giving – for want of a better word – his evidence.' David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg have also taken the stand in recent weeks to answer questions ranging from their relations with billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's media empire to their ideas for cleaning up the press in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. The new series of The Thick of It will follow the fortunes of a different government to reflect the real-life changes in Westminster since series three in 2009. Iannucci said: 'We've just finished filming, it's all in the can. There's a new government, it's in coalition, our previous cast are in opposition and we go backwards and forwards between the two. There's more of a story arc to it now, even though each episode is self-contained, and in the last three episodes everything comes together.'

ITV's average audience for their coverage of the England versus Ukraine game on Tuesday night was 12.7m. The peak, which occurred just around about the time that John Terry hooked that goalbound effort off the line (allegedly), was 18.6m. Catching up with the highlights programme on BBC1 it's worth mentioning that good old Mark Lawrenson came up with two of the finest commentary moments of the tournament so far. Firstly when Guy Mowbray noted that there was 'a wall of noise' coming from the partisan crowd in the Donbass Arena as the game kicked off Lawro replied 'yeah, but it's not intimidating. It's more like St Trinians!' And then, a moment later, when discussing the absence of Andriy Shevchenko, Lawro told the viewers: 'He played like he had a piano on his back at Chelsea!' Incidentally, the other great moment on BBC1 on Tuesday evening was when a faintly desperate continuity announcer said, immediately after the local news had finished at 7pm: 'If you want to keep up with the England game, you can listen to live and exclusive commentary on BBC 5Live.' Yeah mate, or you could, you know, just turn over to ITV and watch the thing! I mean, I know it means putting up with Adrian Chiles and Jamie Carragher for a couple of hours, but still ...

Never can ITV have played such a prominent role at a Sky drinks bash. The satellite broadcaster's summer party at London's Oxo Tower on Tuesday night was unfortunately timed to coincide with England's crucial last group game against Ukraine. So a handful of big screens were provided on which guests could follow Roy Hodgson's lads winning 1-0 with the voice of Clive Tyldesley echoing around the brasserie. Well, Sky is still a seven and a half per cent shareholder in ITV. Freddie Flintoff and Elle Macpherson added a little celebrity sparkle to the assorted hacks and executives present. Sky News's nasty Kay Burley and Dermot Murnaghan were also in attendance, along with Sky Sports's Georgie Thompson. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, with whom the satellite broadcaster has just concluded a new enormously expensive live rights deal, was spotted making an early exit. Presumably he has an even bigger screen at home to watch the football on.

Qi update. Five further episodes have been filmed for the next - J - series of the popular BBC2 intelligence quiz. On 6 June, an episode entitled J-Words was shot featuring Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr and, hurrah, the divine Goddess-like Victoria Coren making her long awaited debut on a series that could've been made for her. The following week three further episodes were recorded: Jungles, featuring Reginald D Hunter and two other first timers - David O'Doherty and Greg Proops - Journalism with Ross Noble, Johnny Vegas and Shappi Khorsandi and Jumpers with Ross again, Bill Bailey and Julian Clary. Finally earlier this week, J-Places was another episode to feature Bill along with Sandi Toksvig and another newcomer, the excellent Susan Calman. Two further episodes will be filmed later this week and the final three next week. The sixteen-part series is due to be broadcast in the autumn.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Katya Virshilas has been dropped from the BBC series. She went out early in last year's show when she was partnered with TV sports presenter Dan Lobb. She made it to fifth place the previous year when she danced with rugby union player Gavin Henson. Virshilas, who is from Lithuania, is the only professional from last year who will not be returning. She made her debut in series seven in 2009. That year she partnered former England cricket player Phil Tufnell. Strictly Come Dancing, which returns later this year, has two new executive producers - Glenn Coomber and Andrea Hamilton. The programme also has a new judge with Darcey Bussell replacing odious, talentless greed bucket Alesha Dixon, who left to join ITV's Britain's Got Talent.

BBC director general Mark Thompson's final appearance before the Commons culture, media and select committee on Tuesday was something of a 'greatest hits' of his eight years in charge, touching on 6Music, BBC3 and, of course, the Queen's diamond jubilee fiasco. It was only a shame that even a marathon two-hour appearance didn't leave enough room to dredge up the Ross-Brand affair one more time. Asked by committee chairman John Whittingdale whether he had ever felt he had been put under 'improper political pressure,' Thompson said he felt it came close during controversies prompted by Panorama, including its investigation into alleged FIFA corruption which some people - including the prime minister - blamed for damaging England's 2018 World Cup bid but which, ultimately, was proved to be mostly accurate in its claims. Especially those relating to the odious Jack Warner. 'I thought politicians and others were getting quite close,' recalled Thompson. 'It didn't have any effect, we didn't in any way bow to it. Politicians have very strong views on what we do, I have never objected to personal representations from politicians morning, noon or night,' he added. 'I don't think the BBC should be regarded as so sacrosanct that you can't phone up and say what the bloody hell happened there? I would rather they did that than fester away in silence.'

Star Trek actor William Shatner has apologised to a Devon town for saying it was 'laced with prostitution.' Though quite why he felt the need to apologise for what was, very obviously, a joke, is a mystery in and of itself. Shatner, eighty one, made the comments on an edition of the BBC show Have I Got News for You. Former Mayor of Ilfracombe Paul Crabb invited Shatner to the seaside town to show him 'there is no prostitution in Ilfracombe.' Shatner replied: 'My apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution.' He made his comments in May as panellists discussed the town as a venue in the Olympic torch relay. When The Shat mispronounced the town's name, guest panellist Charlie Brooker said that he had made it sound 'deeply sexual' to which Shatner replied: 'Have you ever been there? The place is laced with prostitution.' Which was funny. Crabb e-mailed Shatner's agents - because, obviously, as a former mayor he had nothing better to do with his time - saying: 'As Captain James T Kirk, Mr Shatner has been to places where no man has gone before, however, the episode of Have I Got News For You clearly shows he has never been to Ilfracombe. If he came, we could show him that there is no prostitution in Ilfracombe and that it is a lovely coastal town with spectacular scenery and a close community.' Seriously, people actually voted for this bloke? Words fail me. In an e-mail signed 'Bill', Shatner replied that prostitution 'commonly means sex for something of value.' He added: 'I would be hard pressed to believe that sex was not being had in Ilfracombe for something of value, perhaps a lengthy marriage, children or a valuable career. In any event, my apologies for having singled out Ilfracombe as a potential haven for prostitution. With you overseeing, I am sure that will not happen.' Crabb said: "We are a fairly good natured bunch down here. I'm sure the vast majority of people took it as tongue in cheek humour, but there were some who were upset.' Yes. Arseholes, mostly.

And, still on the subject of that particular episode of Have I Got News For You and proof that rank glakishness isn't confined to Devon, an MP has complained to the BBC and, get this, to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission over a joke about the Cornish. Because, again, as an MP - and a member of the coalition government, at that - this joker clearly hasn't got anything more important issues to deal with. The joke was made by panellist Andy Hamilton in response to a question. Dan Rogerson, Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall, said the comments showed that 'Cornish are discriminated against as a group.' What a marvellous example of that curiously Twenty First Century phenomena, victim culture. The show's producers said the comment was 'clearly tongue in cheek.' Clearly. But then, this is member of a political party which has Nick Clegg as its leader so, maybe he just doesn't understand the concept of 'a joke.' In the show, William Shatner asked a question about the Olympic torch relay: 'What caused confusion in Truro?' Hamilton responded: 'Well, they're Cornish aren't they? They'll always be confused in Truro.' Rogerson said: 'Of course I like a joke as much as the next person.' There's a Monty Python sketch in that one line, dear blog reader. He continued: 'But, on this occasion I can't help but feel that these comments wouldn't be tolerated if they were aimed at the Welsh, Scottish or indeed any other nationality or cultural minority. I feel that it is comments like this which show that the Cornish are discriminated against as a group, and that they should be recognised as a distinct cultural minority. This would give protections to make sure the Cornish are not stopped from maintaining and celebrating our distinct identity.' He added: 'I don't want kids in Cornwall to see this kind of thing and and think, "Is there something about me, maybe I'm not as bright as all the others, maybe I haven't got the chance to be as successful as everybody else."' Others, it would seem, disagree. BBC Radio Cornwall listener Steve Dawe from Callington, said: 'It was not offensive, it was very funny. People seem to be having a major sense of humour bypass. Everyone was being picked on, MPs, bankers, the Welsh, Scots. The whole programme was having a bash at everyone.' Rogerson's crassly over-the-top and po-faced actions have also received a number of negative responses on the BBC Cornwall Facebook page including one Ray Worden who wrote: 'Dan Rogerson is a very good MP, but for goodness sake, what a huge storm in a very tiny teacup.' Politicians. Don't vote for them, dear blog reader, it only encourages them.

Kathy Burke has said that she worries about the roles young actresses are given. The actress contrasted the parts female stars are often given with her own four-part Sky Atlantic series Walking and Talking. 'I was so lucky because Sky just left me alone,' Burke told What's On TV. 'I didn't have to follow any rules so it felt like writing a play. I wanted to write something that reminded me of shows I used to watch in the seventies like Our Day Out and Blue Remembered Hills. They were great fun, but character and dialogue-led. They weren't about a young prostitute ending up a cadaver or something!' She added: 'I don't know whether it's me being older, but I just get really worried for young actresses and the things they're expected to portray now. They're just expected to take their clothes off and do sex scenes. Why? In this show, the girls don't even swear.' Burke has expanded characters Kath and Mary from her classic Sky Little Crackers Better Than Christmas for the new show.

Shares in ITV were trading up two per cent on Tuesday as speculation refused to die down that the broadcaster could be the subject of a takeover. The markets reacted positively to news of ITV's tender offer for up to two hundred and fifty million of its bonds, which would help to lower the firm's debt interest payments. Various parties have been rumoured as readying a takeover of ITV in the past, even including at one stage the cash-rich iPhone maker Apple. No bid has materialised, but analysts believe that ITV's more healthy balance sheet could make it a target for private equity companies. The Gruniad noted that one of the parties believed to be circling ITV is KKR, the global equity firm that is the co-controller of German commercial TV station ProSieben. It is thought that as ITV will be cash positive to the tune of around two hundred and eighty million quid by the end of the financial year, it has become a much more attractive prospect for a deal. There have previously been fears over ITV's ability to cut its dependency on television advertising, which is liable to annual peaks and troughs depending on the seasons. For example, shares in ITV fell nearly six per cent earlier in the month after an analyst report poured cold water on the expected spike in TV advertising for the London 2012 Olympics. However, Panmure Gordon analyst Alex DeGroote said that Sky and BT's recent three billion smackers deal for Premier League TV rights shows the 'value of content,' and this is an area of emerging strength for ITV via its ITV Studios arm. Reacting to ITV's bond move, he told the Gruniad: 'Very sensible treasury action. ITV has around one billion knicker cash on its balance sheet. Hopefully this will persuade the market that ITV is more than just a play on advertising. The market is plainly obsessed by advertising momentum. This may have deteriorated in the third quarter, following a very strong second quarter. It remains volatile. At the same time, the Premier League auction highlighted the value of content. ITV is a major content player, with more than twenty per cent of EBITDA coming from Studios now.'

The Apprentice and The Voice helped BBC iPlayer rack up another massive month in May, as the catch-up TV platform nears two hundred million monthly requests. BBC iPlayer had a total of one hundred and eighty seven million requests for television and radio programming in May across the hundreds of different devices and platforms where it is available. The platform has now averaged one hundred and ninety million requests per month over the first half of 2012, breaking down as an average of one hundred and forty million for TV shows and forty six million for radio. Peak usage came in January - traditionally a big month for iPlayer - when the service attracted one hundred and ninety two requests. Series eight of The Apprentice dominated the most-requested television shows in May, with episodes seven (1.21m requests), eight (1.14m), nine (1.07m) and ten (1.03m) holding the top four places. The Voice came fifth, as the second live show of episode nine racked up eight hundred and ninety thousand requests. Episodes of the talent show also came in ninth, tenth and eleventh places (all three topping seven hundred thousand requests), sandwiching three episodes from the new series of Russell Howard's Good News. The most popular radio requests list was topped by Radio 5Live's coverage of Sheikh Yer Man City's nail-biting victory over QPR, as one hundred and thirty nine thousand punters tuned-in on 13 May to hear the last-minute decider of the Premier League title. In May, the majority (eighty six per cent) of TV requests were for on-demand programming, while fourteen per cent tuned into iPlayer for live or 'simulcast' coverage - exactly the same breakdown as in May 2011. To boost live usage on iPlayer, the BBC rolled out a new Live Restart feature this week on the PC version of iPlayer, enabling users to restart live programmes rather than having to wait for them to end.

Ten O'Clock Live is reportedly set to return for a third series. Channel Four's weekly topical comedy show is close to being recommissioned along with its usual four presenters according to Broadcast Now. 'The weekly live comedy is on the brink of being commissioned with discussions with all the major talent taking place,' the website reports. 'Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr are all understood to be returning to the show.' The second series of the show was broadcast in February to April for a reduced ten-episode run on Wednesday evenings. The show saw a number of changes from its first series, and managed to secure an increase of eight hundred and eighty three to nine hundred and ninety seven thousand viewers per episode. Further alterations to the format of the show may be installed for the third series, says the report. 'Changes to the format are still being ironed out and it is not clear whether the third series will feature the same number of episodes as previous series,' the site claims. Carr has recently made the news due to revelations about his tax avoidance practices. Prime Minister David Cameron has described Carr's tax dealings as 'morally wrong.' Which, coming from an Old Etonian Tory who counts various former News International executives among his closest circle of friends is a curious - and some might argue ironic - use of the concept of what is and isn't 'morally wrong.'

Odious lard bucket, hairdo and drag Eamonn Holmes has sparked controversy during an appearance on Sky News where he apparently rubbished a new Ofsted report, which claims that almost half of school pupils will suffer some form of bullying. During a paper review, the Sunrise presenter said that the statistics were 'unbelievable,' claiming that what some people considered bullying was merely 'part of life.' Which, of course, makes it all right. Speaking about the report in the i newspaper, Holmes said: 'The i leads on figures from an Ofsted report: almost half of children are bullied at school, now that I find just unbelievable. One out of two children. What do they constitute as bullying? Someone sticking their tongue out at them? There's bulling, let's take that very seriously but to say that one out of two children is put upon at school. Maybe that's just life, maybe that's what it's called.' When his co-presenter Charlotte Hawkins questioned him about his comments, he accused her of being wimpy. 'If half the children feel they are being bullied whatever form that takes because for some people it might have to be quite severe for it to have an impact but for other people even taunts can make them feel like they are being bullied and that should count, in my opinion,' said Hawkins. Holmes replied: 'Don't bully me. See, that's why the world is in the state that it is, people like you just being wimpy about everything. One in two children are bullied at school. Don't believe it, it's called growing up basically.' When criticised on Twitter by one individual for his remarks, Holmes replied: 'Your opinion is that every second child is being bullied? Get a grip man, you are doing the fight against real bullying no favours.'

Captain Alastair Cook scored one hundred and twelve as England cruised to an eight-wicket victory over West Indies to clinch the one-day series with a match to spare. Cook shared an opening stand of one hundred and twenty two with Ian Bell (fifty three) and eighty one with Jonathan Trott as the hosts chased down the tourists' below-par 238-9 in forty five overs. Put in to bat, the Windies failed to build on Chris Gayle's explosive fifty three. Dwayne Bravo top-scored with seventy seven off eighty two balls but the innings fizzled out with only nineteen runs in the last five overs. Their total never looked enough on a true pitch and in bright sunshine, and Cook and Bell gave a masterclass in how to chase down a modest target, picking up singles off most balls and putting away any wayward deliveries for four. Cook was marginally the more aggressive, taking a particular liking to the off-spin of Sunil Narine, who he cracked for successive fours on either side of the wicket in racing to a fifty one-ball half-century. England were scoring at more than six runs per over when Bell, a centurion in the first match at the Rose Bowl, gifted his wicket to Darren Sammy with a loose drive to cover. Cook marched on to reach his fourth century since taking over as one-day captain a year ago - and the sixth by an England opener in successive one-day internationals. With Trott playing his usual game of steady accumulation, Cook steamed to three figures off one hundred and fourteen balls. After twelve fours, he bludgeoned his first six off opposite number Sammy over long-on before falling trying to repeat the shot and ballooning the ball up in the air. That left Trott, who finished forty three not out, and Ravi Bopara to steer England to a victory that was even more comprehensive than their one hundred and fourteen-run Duckworth-Lewis win in Saturday's series-opener at the Ageas Bowl. 'It was a really good team performance,' Cook told Test Match Special. 'The bowlers set the tone this morning. A couple of times they got away from us but we held our nerve and we would have taken two hundred and forty as a target. It proved a pretty comfortable knock in the end.' The second contest began in sombre mood as The Oval remembered Surrey batsman Tom Maynard, who died on Monday after being struck by a London Underground train. There was a minute's silence before the start and players from both teams wore black armbands. 'It's been a tricky twenty four hours. The way the lads handled it and put a good performance together is a credit to group we have in there,' said Cook, who barely celebrated reaching three figures. 'It was not a massive day for celebrations - cricket is important but it's not that important.' After West Indies scored only six runs in the first four overs, Gayle gave their innings lift-off. He smashed Tim Bresnan for three huge sixes and James Anderson two, with one missile clattering into the scoreboard and another almost dislodging some tiles from the roof of one of the stands. With Lendl Simmons hardly playing a shot at the other end, it was a one-man show and when Gayle reached his fifty off forty one balls, the Windies total was fifty nine for no wicket. Gayle was stopped in his tracks when umpire Tony Hill took an age to adjudge him out LBW off Graeme Swann. The batsman immediately ordered a review, which appeared to show that that the ball struck pad before bat, but Gayle looked less than impressed as he reluctantly trudged away from the wicket. The danger man gone, England seized control with three quick wickets. Dwayne Smith was caught behind aiming a heave at Stuart Broad, Simmons was run out for a fifty-ball twelve by a Cook direct hit and Marlon Samuels was caught in the deep for thirteen. A rebuilding job was called for and the Windies found the men for the task in Bravo and Kieron Pollard. Watchful at first, then increasingly aggressive, they added one hundred in nineteen overs to set the tourists up for an imposing total. Pollard top-edged Bresnan to Anderson to fall for forty two, but Bravo kept up the momentum with Sammy, who scored twenty one off twenty balls. The tourists' innings rather petered out after the skipper's dismissal as Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine fell cheaply and Bravo was caught playing one shot too many. Tino Best strained every sinew in a bid to emulate his Edgbaston Test heroics but mostly connected with thin air in scoring seven off twelve balls. 'We didn't score enough runs on a good wicket,' said Sammy. 'Cook played well, but at the end of the day, you need runs on the board to defend. In two games we have seen Englishmen get hundreds, but none of our batsmen have been able to do that. We didn't bowl consistent lines and lengths, England found it easy to move the ball around. We have to be more consistent in everything we do.'

Manager Roy Hodgson admits that England have done better than expected by qualifying top of Group D at Euro 2012. Tuesday's 1-0 win over Ukraine, coupled with France's 2-0 defeat by Sweden, means England win their group and now face Italy in the quarter-finals. 'Getting out of the group partly exceeded my expectations,' Hodgson told BBC Radio 5Live. 'For us to get seven points with two victories and a draw probably exceeds everyone's expectations.' The sixty four-year-old continued: 'We're very pleased to have won the group. It wasn't an easy group to win. Ukraine have very good players, France were undefeated in twenty three games, and then there's Sweden who ended that run. But we deserve it.' A second-half header from the returning Wayne Rooney sealed England's passage to the last eight as group winners following a hard-fought win over the co-hosts in a Donbass Arena in Donetsk dominated by home support. 'It was always going to be a tough game,' said Hodgson. 'We kept getting updates from the Sweden game and we knew France were losing, plus the fans were all behind Ukraine. It took a great effort from us to keep our shape and discipline. We thank the supporters, both the brave four thousand here plus the people back home. All the vibes have been extremely positive, having a good feel-good factor. That rubs off on the team.' Hodgson praised goalscorer Rooney, who was playing his first game in the tournament after serving a two-match ban for his sending off in the final qualifying game against Montenegro. 'You know what Rooney can do, you know his qualities,' said the England boss. 'He gave an extremely disciplined performance, I think he and Welbeck worked extremely well together. I've played this down, but it was his first game in a while and the fact he's had eighty minutes in this match will fill him with confidence.' Hodgson also paid testimony to captain Steven Gerrard, who set up Rooney's goal and was voted man of the match. 'You've got to single Steven out. I think to some extent he's been our man of the match in every match, it was a captain's performance,' insisted Hodgson. The coach admitted England enjoyed a slice of luck on Tuesday. Ukraine not only dominated for long periods but were denied a perfectly good equaliser when Marko Devic's shot was several inches over the line before being hooked away by John Terry, but the goal was not given by the officials. It evoked memories of the World Cup in 2010 when a similar decision went against England during the last-sixteen defeat by Germany. 'We don't have goal-line technology, and even with slow-motion we can't be one hundred per cent certain. I'm led to believe the ball crossed the line, and that was a slice of luck,' admitted Hodgson. 'But England have suffered in the past, and if there was a slice of luck, we got it.' By winning Group D, England avoided world and European champions Spain in the quarter-finals and will play Group C runners-up Italy instead in Kiev on Sunday. 'I'd have been quite happy to play the Spanish, but I'd rather miss them because they are the favourites alongside Germany,' added Hodgson. 'I think this team of ours would have given Spain a pretty good run for their money. The good thing is that we're there and we're not travelling home. There was not one person in our group who wanted to be on that plane tomorrow.'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has renewed his call for the introduction of goal-line technology after a controversial incident in England's 1-0 win over Ukraine helped eliminate the co-hosts. Goal-line technology could be approved by the International Football Association Board on 5 July. 'After last night's match ‪GLT‬ is no longer an alternative but a necessity,' Blatter tweeted. UEFA president Michel Platini prefers the system of five match officials. But he stated on Monday that he expects the IFAB meeting in Zurich to give one of two goal-line systems currently being tested the go-ahead. If that is the case, individual associations can decide whether to use the technology in their competitions. That means UEFA could still decide not to implement the system. The Premier League has previously stated its willingness to make the change. UEFA's chief refereeing officer Big Scary Pierluigi Collina has defended the officiating at the tournament, claiming two similar decisions in previous games were correct. Collina said: 'We made a mistake. I wish we hadn't made the mistake but we did. Referees are human beings and human beings make mistakes.'

The Football Association has been fined five thousand Euros by UEFA for the 'inappropriate conduct' of some England fans in Friday's Euro 2012 win over Sweden. The fine was for the attempted pitch invasion by supporters during the 3-2 Group D victory in Kiev. The FA has decided not to contest the fine, maintaining the relatively small amount reflects UEFA's belief the incident was not serious. 'We accept the sanction and consider the matter closed,' a statement read. After England's second and third goals by Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck between twenty and thirty fans surged forward towards the barriers but no-one got further than the outside of the Olympic Stadium's running track. The FA had presented video evidence and strong mitigating circumstances in their defence at a UEFA hearing, including that the potential 'invasion' during the comeback win was nothing more than exuberance rather than a deliberate plan by some supporters to get onto the pitch. The incident was so minor the UEFA match delegate is not thought to have even mentioned it in his report of the game. The FA has also confirmed that there has not been any arrests of England fans in Poland or Ukraine this summer.

A cat has survived holding onto the underside of a train for one hundred and twenty miles. Named Thomas by the RSPCA, the animal was 'slightly shaken,' but remained 'lovely and friendly' after his ordeal. Charity spokesman Simon Evans said: 'This cat has used up almost all of his nine lives - it's quite unbelievable what he has gone through. Despite being a little shaken, the cat is lovely and friendly. He's in good health and so we are wondering if there is an owner out there looking for him.' Thomas seemingly boarded the train in Southampton and managed to hang on for two hours until it reached Cardiff.

A runner who donated part of her lung to her sister has taken the Olympic flame on board a steam train as the relay travelled from York to Carlisle. Josephine Loughran carried the flame on the Scots Guardsman from York's National Railway Museum to Thirsk. A woman who helped two drivers who crashed on a railway crossing was also among the day's eighty five torchbearers. And some twenty thousand people flocked to Carlisle's Bitts Park to see the flame light a cauldron at an evening event carried live on BBC's Look North. Day thirty three of the torch relay started at York Minster where Jessica Hoggarth-Hall - who was celebrating her fourteenth birthday - got proceedings under way. She was selected for overcoming her dyslexia through regular participation in drama activities. The flame was then carried from the fourteenth Century cathedral, through the city's cobbled streets, to the National Railway Museum. There Loughran, from Esholt Shipley, climbed on the front of the Scots Guardsman for a photograph before the rail journey to Thirsk. The fifty four-year-old underwent surgery to give a lung lobe to her sister Sheila, who had cystic fibrosis. The Flying Scotsman train was originally going to be used for this leg of the journey, but more remedial work was needed on the engine, which could not be done in time. Pipes and drums from the First Battalion, the Scots Guards piped the flame's arrival. Loughran used to run every day but gave up her passion temporarily so she could undergo an operation to donate one of the lobes of her lungs to her sister Sheila. During the day the flame travelled one hundred and thirty four miles to Bitts Park in Carlisle. After taking in Thirsk - the home town of James Herriot, author of the All Creatures Great and Small series of books - the torch travelled to Northallerton, Aiskew and Bedale. Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale provided a picturesque spot for Lucy Gale to take her turn with the torch. Gale helped the drivers of two cars, who had crashed on a railway crossing, to safety as a freight train approached. Later arriving in Richmond, Helen Jackson from Huddersfield took the flame to Richmond Castle. She was chosen for the voluntary work she does at local hospices to repay them for the care they have given to some of her friends and family in recent years. After a lunch stop, the relay travelled to Barnard Castle, where forty eight-year-old John McBride lived up to his local billing as the "barefoot runner" by completing his relay leg without shoes. The torch relay the headed to Brough, Appleby-in-Westmorland and Penrith, where mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington made a return to the relay after carrying the flame to the summit of Snowdon on day eleven. Bonington, who lives in Cumbria, told the BBC that he plans to auction his torch for charity. 'It is a very treasured item but at the same time I don't think I will keep it,' he said. 'It is something that can do good for charity and I have a charity in mind.' The torch relay culminated in England's second-most northerly city, Carlisle, where it received a rapturous welcome. There, the day's final torchbearer, Jordan Little, lit the cauldron at an evening celebration in his home city. The twenty-year-old was nominated for his work as activities co-ordinator for the Carlisle Youth Council.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice. Pagans, druids and various other stinking, lice-ridden Gruniad reading hippies witness the sunrise on the longest day of the year at the prehistoric site marking the event with religious ceremonies. A figure, called Ancestor is being moved to the stones ahead of the solstice celebrations. The seven tonne steel statue depicts a man with his 'head thrown back and arms open wide.' After the solstice it will be dismantled and taken to Salisbury for the Olympic torch event. There have been warnings of heavy rain and possible thunder over Stonehenge. BBC West Weatherman Ian Fergusson said: 'There's a strong likelihood some rain - still potentially heavy - will linger into daybreak tomorrow. So celebrations at the site may prove pretty soggy and overcast, before improving through the morning.' Wiltshire Police are working with English Heritage to make sure appropriate security measures are in place for the celebrations. As with previous years, there will be amnesty bins available outside the event and drugs dogs will be at both Stonehenge and Avebury. 'It is unacceptable for anyone attending this event to have to suffer violence, disorder, drink and drug related offences or general anti-social behaviour,' said a police spokesman.

A woman in Monticello, Kentucky had to be rescued by paramedics after being stuck to a supermarket toilet seat for nearly an hour. She was then taken to a nearby hospital to be checked over. It was later determined that the seat in Walmart had been covered in super glue, according to ABC Action News. The Elkton police department stated that applying super glue on a toilet is considered a crime and that the person responsible could face assault charges. Police are investigating the incident. But, they admitted they had nothing to go on. Hey look, I can only work with the material I'm given, all right? The city's police chief Ralph Miniard added: 'We're looking at it. Right now, I wouldn't be prepared to say which way it was - accident or intention.' Yeah, because people smear suger glue on toilet seats accidentally all the time, don't they? A similar incident happened on 31 March earlier this year, as a man found himself stuck to a toilet at a Walmart in Maryland. He was said to be the victim of an April Fools' Day prank.

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. This one's from David Tennant's favourites.

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