Sunday, June 03, 2012

Week Twenty Four: You Think It Can't Go On Forever, But The Papers Say It Better

According to the Gruniad - taking a few moments off from their usual witless 'finding fault in Jeremy Clarkson' activities - yer actual Nick Clegg (remember him, he's the deputy prime minister) has 'refused' to give unequivocal backing to the vile and odious rascal Hunt over his handling of the BSkyB takeover controversy as senior Liberal Democrats broke ranks to demand a new investigation into whether the lack culture secretary has broken the ministerial code. Which is funny.
The vile and odious rascal Hunt's chances of surviving in the cabinet appeared to have been boosted last week when his friend David Cameron declared minutes after the vile and odious rascal Hunt finished giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry that he would not order a further inquiry. But that attempt to end the row looks like backfiring, with Lib Dem MPs and peers joining Labour to insist that the vile and odious rascal Hunt is referred to the official adviser on the ministerial code, Sir Alex Allan. Labour will call a Commons vote on whether the vile and odious rascal Hunt should be investigated, laiming he misled parliament about his role in News Corp's bid for BSkyB and failed to keep his adviser Adam Smith, who quit over his contacts with Murdoch executives, under control. A Lib Dem spokesman refused to say whether Clegg would order his MPs to back Cameron. 'No decision has been taken,' he claimed. A move by Clegg to defy Cameron and call for further investigation would threaten a serious rift between the prime minister and his deputy. And, to be perfectly honest, it doesn't sound like the kind of manly thing a loathsome spineless creature such as Clegg would be capable of, let alone actually do. The Commons vote is expected soon after parliament returns. Pressure on Clegg to take on Cameron was applied by several Lib Dems, including the party's representative on the culture, media and sport select committee, Adrian Sanders. Sanders said he thought the case should 'definitely' be referred for investigation. 'The public will accept the verdict from the person who is supposed to investigate these issues far more readily that it will the verdict of the prime minister,' he added. 'What is the point of having an adviser on the ministerial code if you never use him?' Lorely Burt, the Lib Dem MP for Solihull, said the vile and odious rascal Hunt should have offered himself up for investigation. 'I thought he should have referred himself, quite honestly, but he has lost that opportunity.' Other senior Lib Dems said they were 'astonished' that the prime minister had not referred the vile and odious rascal Hunt to Allan. Though why they should be astonished is another matter entirely. Lord Oakeshott, the party's former Treasury spokesman in the Lords, questioned how Cameron could have decided the vile and odious rascal Hunt was in the clear less than half an hour after the lack of culture secretary finished giving evidence to Lord Leveson: 'How could he possibly have cleared him only twenty five minutes after the hearing ended?' Oakeshott said it appeared to be an 'utterly cynical carve-up in advance which no Lib Dem could conceivably condone.' It is highly unusual for MPs from a governing party to back an opposition motion. But there is support within the Lib Dems for the idea of the party's own amendment, which would centre on the specific allegation that the vile and odious rascal Hunt misled parliament when he claimed in a statement in April to have published all his communications with News Corp and the Murdochs. On Friday, the all-party public administration select committee said Allan should not have to wait for a minister to be referred to him before an investigation could be launched. Mad Hattie Harman, the shadow lack of culture secretary and Labour's deputy leader, suggested the speaker John Bercow might want to recall the vile and odious rascal Hunt to parliament to adress the concerns of MPs who believe he may have misled them. 'Any speaker would be dismayed to find the House confronted with a situation where the secretary of state has misled the House and the prime minister condones that by failing to take any action,' she said. Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Cameron, unconvincingly, claimed that the lack of culture secretary had given 'a good account of himself' to the Leveson Inquiry and to Parliament.

And so to yer next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:

Saturday 9 June
The European Champions 2012 have started, dear blog reader. You just might have noticed. And, they're going to dominate the TV schedules for the next few weeks. Which is jolly unlucky if you don't happen to like football. But, if you don't happen to like football then you're nowhere, baby. A total zero. Fortunately, yer actual Keith Telly Topping does. And so do all other right-thinking individuals. So, without further ado ... it's the Netherlands versus Denmark (kick-off 5.00pm). This one's on the BBC so the coverage, commentary and presentation will, at least, be vaguely decent as opposed to, you know, the atrocious tripe you get on the other side. National treasure yer actual lovely Gary Lineker his very self introduces coverage of this afternoon's Group B clash at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, where the teams play their opening match. Nice teeth, Gary Lineker, don't you think? Anyway, this is the second major tournament in succession where the Dutch and the Danes have been drawn against each other in the group stage, having also met at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. That encounter in Johannesburg saw the Netherlands open their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory, as they embarked on an impressive winning streak which would take them all the way to the final, looking as good as they had in any major tournament since 1988. And then, they got to the final, their arses fell out and they played for (and got) a 1-0 defeat, finishing as poor runners-up to yer actual Spain. Bert van Marwijk's men have been in imperious form since then, however, winning nine of their ten games in the qualifying stage as they topped Group E, and they are among the favourites to go all the way at this tournament. But, of course, they won't cos they're the Dutch and they always pull this trick every couple of years. See, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has always loved the Dutch, dear blog reader - ever since he watched, mesmerised as an unhealthy ten year old in 1974 when their totaal voetbal entranced the world. And then, they broke our hearts when they lost to the Germans in the final. They seemed to say to every unhealthy ten year old 'be brilliant, be expressive, be fabulous, be yourself and you'll win.' They lied! However, Denmark also performed admirably in qualifying automatically for Euro 2012, and will be determined to make up for the disappointment of their performances two years ago in South Africa, when they lost two of their three group matches and returned home early. Find out whether The Toon's Tim Krul or Swansea's Michel Vorm is playing in goal for the Brilliant Oranj. With analysis by Alan Hansen (so, that'll be 'unbelieveable', basically), Phil Neville and Clarence Seedorf.

Then, after a suitable break so that Gary can change his shirt, we've got Germany versus Portugal (kick-off 7.45pm). Which is usually a question of who bursts into tears first. Lineker - and his lovely teeth - presents coverage of the Group B clash at the Arena Lviv, where the respective runners-up from the 2008 and 2004 tournaments begin their quests for glory. This is the third time in the last four European Championships that the Germans and the Portuguese have faced each other, having been paired in the group stage of Euro 2000 and in the knockout stage four years ago. That clash in Basel, Switzerland, was the highlight of the quarter-finals, as Germany took a 2-0 lead midway through the first-half, only to be pegged back to 2-1 shortly before the interval. Their two-goal advantage was restored on the hour mark, but when Portugal scored a second goal of their own three minutes from time, the Germans had to hang on nervously until the final whistle. Which they did. Because, they're the Germans, and they're good at that sort of thing. That encounter was in contrast to the meeting at Euro 2000, when a 3-0 victory for Portugal in the final group match saw Germany crash out of the tournament with just one point from three games, as they finished bottom of a group that also contained Romania and England. Cristiano Ronaldo notched a staggering sixty goals in all competitions this season as he helped Real Madrid wrestle control of La Liga away from arch-rivals Barcelona. But still, nobody likes him because he's a cheating little twat. Opposing him will be Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Bayern Munchen midfielder who, by contrast, has not had the best of seasons, culminating in defeat in the Champions League final by Moscow Chelski FC. Someone's luck has to change and this evening’s Group B encounter. Lee Dxion joins Hansen and Seedorf on the couch. Remember, dear blog reader, association football is a sport which is played between two teams of eleven players - or, if Portugal are one of them, two teams of nine ... or eight ... - using a spherical ball. Because, using a square one would be bloody ridiculous. It is widely considered to be the most popular participation and spectator sport in the world. Except in the USA where they don't even use its proper name and think it's something which girls play. The game takes place on a pitch of rectangular grass or artificial turf. The object is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal and then stopping them from doing the same thing to you. Fairly, of course. Or, if you're Italian, any damn way you can. In general play, the goalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands to touch the ball although at least one former Argentine international tended to ignore that rule when he felt like it. The rest of the team normally use their feet to kick the ball. And, sometimes, each other. Really hard. It's a game of two halves, Brian, and at the end of ninety minutes the team which scores the most goals will be Over the Moon and the other lot will be Sick as a Parrot. Or, to put it another way, it's a game of two halves, and extra time, and then the Germans usually win on penalties. The game is controlled - or, more often, not controlled - by an officious, whistle-happy berk aided by two visually-impaired prats with flags. It was invented by the English but, whisper it, they're not really very good at it. The Germans, however, are. Usually. The Dutch and the Spanish are sometimes quite good too but, more often than not, they end up fighting among themselves after a couple of matches. Which can be jolly amusing in and of itself if you're in the right sort of mood. The game has many rules, most of which are reasonably straight forward. Except for offside (don't ask, trust me, it's not worth it, we'll be here all day). Every four years the best sixteen nations in Europe come together in a spectacularly expensive corporate brown-tongued hate-fest. Scotland usually don't take part. Because, as noted, it's a tournament for the sixteen best national sides in Europe. Fifteen of them inevitably go home darkly muttering about bias, conspiracy, bad luck, dodgy red cards and 'that was never over the line.' There can be only one champion. A bit like the movie Highlander, if you will, only with rather less beheadings. Although, if you're ever seen Turkey play ...

In Jool Holland: London Calling - 9:00 BBC2 - the musician, performer and presenter embarks on a journey through the streets, landmarks, pubs, music halls and rock 'n' roll venues of London to uncover the history of the city through its songs and the people who wrote them. Along the way he meets the legend that is Ray Davies, Damon Albarn, Suggs, Roy Hudd, Lisa Hannigan, Joe Brown and Eliza Carthy, who perform and talk about favourite numbers including Oranges and Lemons, While London Sleeps and Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road.

BBC4 are repeating the second series of the excellent Spiral starting at 9:00. If you've never seen it before - then where have you been?! - it's a French detective drama, starring Gregory Fitoussi and Caroline Proust. Police and prosecutors become embroiled in Paris's gang culture as they investigate a shady lawyer following the discovery of a charred body in the boot of a car. It is a grim and gripping conspiracy that pits les flics on the street against the criminals, lawyers-on-the-make and political classes. As it unfolds at a pace to leave brooding Scandinavians breathless in its wake, you’ll need to concentrate fully on the subtitles. It's worth the investment, for this brutal and brooding drama has the vision and ambition to match the best. First, meet the double act of prosecutor Pierre Clément and Inspector Laure Berthaud. They are raking over the ashes left from the execution of a drug-dealer. In this world, everyone has an agenda and a willingness to flex morality to fit. Immediately afterwards there's the second episode. Laure is disciplined for her use of force on a suspect and has a disagreement with Clement over an uncompromising newspaper interview. Judge Roban investigate a rape allegation and Karlsson becomes Szabo's accomplice in the drug ring.

Sunday 10 June
Meanwhile, back at the Euros, ITV have got both matches today. And thus, this is where the shit hits the fans as Spain take on Italy (kick-off 5.00pm). Grumpy odious greed bucket Adrian Chiles presents coverage of the Group C clash at the Arena Gdansk, where reigning champions Spain get their campaign under way. This will be the fourth meeting at a European Championships between these nations - old and somewhat bitter rivals - who previously met in 1980 and 1988, and again in 2008, when a drab quarter-final was settled by penalties. That match in Vienna finished 0-0 after extra time, with neither keeper being troubled on more than a few occasions, and it was Iker Casillas who proved to be the hero as he saved spot kicks from Daniele de Rossi and Antonio di Natale. Spain would of course go on to triumph in the final after beating surprise package Russia 3-0 in the semi-finals, before a 1-0 win over Germany saw them claim their first tournament victory in forty four years. Both sides enter this competition on the back of a strong qualifying campaign, with Spain having topped Group I with a one hundred per cent record. Despite having Fernando Torres as their centre forward. Eight wins and two draws saw The Azzurri progress automatically from Group C. This mouthwatering match between the last two sides to lift the World Cup is not just a clash of titans but a renewing of hostilities between polar opposites. The contrast in ideologies means they won't just be fighting for points, but also for the hearts of neutral fans as Spain's free-flowing passing game goes up against Italy's defensive Catenaccio. Central to their respective side’s hopes will be Xavi and Andrea Pirlo, midfield metronomes whose importance hasn't diminished despite both now entering the autumn of their careers. With - crap - commentary by Jon Champion and Craig Burley and - crap - analysis by Roberto Martinez, Gordon Strachan and Patrick Vieira. Add Chiles in to the mix and you have four people to whom English is not their first language. This should be ... terrible. As usual.

And then, it's Republic of Ireland versus Croatia (kick-off 7.45pm). Greed bucket Chiles returns for ITV's coverage from the Municipal Stadium Poznan, where the Group C teams play their opening match of the tournament. The Irish are appearing at a major tournament for the first time since the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, and only their second-ever European Championship, having made their debut in 1988. Jack Charlton was in charge on that occasion, and though he could not lead his team beyond the group stage, he did inspire them to a memorable 1-0 victory over a bloody awful England, with a solitary goal from Ray Houghton proving to be enough. They begin this campaign with a tricky encounter against Croatia, who are participating in their fourth European Championship, a fact that is all the more remarkable considering they have only been eligible for the past five. Head coach Slaven Bilic has already announced his departure from the national team following this competition, and will hope to sign off on a positive note. The sides have met on six occasions, and Croatia have only won once, although five of those meetings have been in Dublin, all of which suggests Shay Given might be in for a busy night. Commentary by Peter Drury and Jim Beglin, and there's analysis from Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Jamie Carragher. Horrorshow.

Exploring the tidal ebb and flow of the seas surrounding Britain sounds like a job for Coast - 9:00 BBC2. Nicholas Crane braves the dangerous rapids off the coast of Anglesey, and investigates a tidal predictor in Liverpool. The deadly killer Miranda Krestovnikoff visits Jersey's Seymour Tower to witness the marine life revealed at low spring tide, Tessa Dunlop compares the fashions in bathing suits favoured by different generations of beach-goers and Mark Horton travels to Poppit Sands in Pembrokeshire, to explore the remains of a nine hundred-year old fish trap. Tides, eh? They come in and twelve hours or so later they go out. And that's all there is to them, you may think. But the sea off, say, Northumberland, behaves differently from the water around the Isle of Wight, so the ebb and flow of the sea uncovers all manner of stories for the Coast team. In Liverpool, meanwhile, Nick Crane gets very animated over an ingenious 1940s machine that calculated tide timetables. 'This is more exciting than looking at a modern-day circuit board,' he claims.

Nina Conti - A Ventriloquist's Story: Her Master's Voice - 9:00 BBC4 - follows comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti on a most peculiar pilgrimage. We backtrack to when she was bequeathed a chest of dummies by her former mentor and lover Ken Campbell after his death in 2008. But now she has reached a crossroads in her career. So she takes her felt-and-fur friends — some cute, others creepy — to a special convention in Kentucky. At the Vent Haven gathering we see astonishing examples of 'distant voice' expertise, and Nina — the daughter of Tom Conti — even uses her props to voice deeply personal confessions. The film seems unsure of what it wants to be — it's certainly a bit disturbing at times — but you will learn what 'bifurcation' means. The comedienne explores the reasons she became a ventriloquist and reveals the secrets of the art, demonstrating the various voices and characters of her puppets.

The Jubilee may be over - thank Christ - but any excuse will do for a brown-tongued trawl through the archives accompanied by sort-of-experts holding forth. Which is the only thing that explains the puke-inducing Channel Four documentary The Royal History of Pop at 10:00. The clips and quips cover sixty years of the monarchy's sometimes uneasy dealings with pop. It's a wide brief: from Prince Charles shaking a tailfeather with the Three Degrees to Roddy Llewellyn's bizarre jaunt into the pop world in 1978, while he was romantically linked with Princess Margaret. But the really extraordinary nugget of trivia here is that Elton John's reworked 'Candle in the Wind' for Princess Diana is the biggest-selling single worldwide since the pop charts began. The documentary investigates the royal family's love-hate relationship with pop music, from John Lennon's gag about rattling jewellery at the 1963 Royal Variety Performance and The Sex Pistols preaching anarchy in the year of the Silver Jubilee to today's sycophantic pop stars lining up to be seen with the young princes and give their sphincters a damned good slurp. Veteran singer Tommy Steele talks about being one of the first rock 'n' roll stars to perform in front of Her Maj, former Three Degrees member Sheila Ferguson recalls what Prince Charles said to her at a concert in the run-up to his thirtieth birthday, and Queen's big-haired guitarist Brian May recalls playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee party. Sadly, he didn't fall off and break his neck. Because that, I'd've watched.

Monday 11 June
And so, to the big one. France versus England (kick-off 5.00pm). Odious greed bucket Chiles - badly - presents coverage of the opening clash in Group D from the Donbass Arena in Donetsk. England last appeared at a European Championship in 2004, when they were also drawn alongside this evening's opponents in the group stage. While both teams progressed to the knockout phase, it was France who topped the table after all three matches had been played, thanks largely to their 2-1 victory over Sven-Goran Eriksson's men in the opening encounter in Lisbon. Frank Lampard's first-half header had looked to have given England all three points, but two goals by Zinedine Zidane in the closing minutes snatched a win for the French. Wayne Rooney became the second-youngest player to appear in a European Championship when selected for that match - and the youngest to kick some hapless Frenchman up a-height for no good reason - but recently appointed manager Roy Hodgson will have to make do without Rooney's services in this clash, following The Scum star's red card in the final game of the qualifying stage away to Montenegro. Despite that, and the fact they have been drawn in a very competitive group, much will be expected of Hodgson's team, even though they have not reached the semi-final of a tournament since Euro '96. As office workers head home for the 5pm kick-off, England players gather in Donetsk, for their first match with the weight of a nation's hopes resting, for once, very lightly on their shoulders. This time, no one seems to be expecting too much. If half the battle for an England coach is managing expectations, then Hodgson is flying. But hang on, let's try and salvage some optimism: this is a team that has qualified for the Euros with an unbeaten record. They defeated world champions Spain last November at Wembley. And the players now speak the same language as the manager and his backroom team – that has to help, surely? If so, the fairy tale starts here. France went 2–0 down to Iceland recently (before salvaging a late win), but the likes of Andy Carroll (or, will it be Danny Welbeck?) will need to be on rampaging form against a mean defence. If they are then those expectations will suddenly be off the scale again. Given the presence of Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa in Les Bleus, yer actual Keith Telly Topping - being the contrary sod that he is - may well end up supporting France! With commentary by Clive Tyldesley and the odious, risible, crappy Andy Townsend. Take a tip, watch it with the sound off.

Meanwhile, over on the BBC, we've got Ukraine vs Sweden (kick-off 7.45pm). Gary Lineker presents coverage from the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, where the joint hosts begin their campaign against Group D rivals Sweden. This match will mark new territory for the Ukraine team - with their midfield trio who look like the laid-back rhythm section and keyboard player of some second division Californian hair-metal band from the mid-1980s! - as they make their debut at a European Championship, having never qualified before, and play in only their second major tournament. Their only previous appearance came on the global stage at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when they went on to reach the quarter-finals, before being eliminated by eventual champions Italy in a 3-0 defeat. Sweden are participating in their fourth consecutive European Championship, and fifth overall, and will hope to do better than four years ago when they failed to progress beyond the group stage in Austria and Switzerland. On that occasion they were drawn alongside Spain, Russia and Greece, and while they did manage a victory over the 2004 champions, they lost both of their other matches. With analysis from Alan Hansen, Lee Dixon and Alan Shearer. Expect someone to get elbowed in the face at half-time.

On 12 November 2011, directors Ridley Scott and Morgan Matthews invited everyone in the UK to film part of their day and upload it to YouTube. The result was over eleven thousand five hundred clips capturing the entertaining, the mundane, the exciting, the unusual and the poignant, including breakfast with the family, life in a detention centre and an unexpected marriage proposal as detailed in Britain In A Day - 9:00 BBC2. Now those seven hundred and fifty hours of footage have been edited down into this feature-length documentary, offering an insight into the lives of people living in Britain today. The film forms part of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad.

As David Cameron prepares to take the stand at the Leveson Inquiry, the Daily Torygraph's political commentator Peter Oborne investigates the links between the Prime Minister and Rupert Murdoch's global empire. And, importantly, whether the Conservative Party actively helped the media mogul and billionaire tyrant secure a lucrative business deal, said to be worth eight billion smacker in the Dispatches episode Murdoch, Cameron and the Eight Billion Pound Deal - 8:00 Channel Four.
Oborne meets those close to Cameron and analyses the wider political implications of his relationship with Murdoch's inner circle.

Mia struggles to save the family from eviction, but faces an unexpected setback when her latest hit goes wrong in the latest episode of Hit & Miss - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. Riley approaches John for advice about a personal problem, and Eddie receives a lukewarm reception when he tries to become more involved in life at Small Holdings. Meanwhile, the stranger in the fields moves closer to the family. This transgender hitwoman series really is one of a kind. If you fancy a potent stew of sexual politics and rural grimness, part bereavement drama, part crime thriller, it's pretty much your only option. The strands wrap together nicely thanks to stylish filming and a terrifically grim mood, and just when you think the story's stretched too thin, something else weird or awful happens to Mia (Chloë Sevigny) or her adopted family on the Yorkshire farm. This week one of her hits goes wrong and Ben (Jonas Armstrong) gets fresh.

Tuesday 12 June
For Greece versus Czech Republic (kick-off 5.00pm), ITV have the B-Team out. Matt Smith (no, the other one) presents coverage of this afternoon's Group A clash at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, where the teams play their second match of the tournament. This is the second time that these nations have faced each other at a European Championships, having met in the semi-finals at Euro 2004 in Portugal. An extra-time goal from Traianos Dellas ensured the Greeks won that encounter and progressed to the final against the host nation, which they would also win by a solitary goal having bored the arse off most of Europe in the process. Their record at major tournaments since then has been less than stellar, in fact, they've been rubbish - their combined displays at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup consisting of five losses from six matches. The Czechs did not qualify for the last World Cup in South Africa, and at Euro 2008 failed to reach the knockout stage after winning one and losing two in the round-robin stage.

Having been given the afternoon off - remember a time when he flounced out of the BBC in high dudgeon when they wanted him to take a day off - odious, risible greed bucket Chiles returns for Poland versus Russia (kick-off 7.45pm). The second round of fixtures in Group A continues with this encounter at the National Stadium in Warsaw, as the sides continue their quests to qualify from the group. The Poles have not met the Ruskies since August 2007, when an international friendly finished in a 2-2 draw, but this will be the first competitive meeting between the nations, and only the fourth overall. While Poland are playing in just their second European Championship, Russia have a rich tradition in this competition, particularly when competing as the USSR prior to the split of the former Soviet Union. The Soviets won the first staging of the tournament in 1960 and finished as runners-up on two other occasions prior to its expansion in 1980, when the number of participants was increased from four to eight. Having competed as Russia since 1992 they have qualified for this event on five of the six possible occasions, with their best performance seeing them reach the semi-finals four years ago. Commentary by Peter Drury and Jim Beglin.

Martha faces one of the toughest briefs of her career when she appears at the Supreme Court to represent a man on death row in Jamaica - but Billy worries about the emotional strain such a case will place on her in Silk - 9:00 BBC1. To add to her workload, Clive persuades her to take the Fatima Ali trial - leaving him conveniently free for the prosecution of Jody Farr, which could prove to be the making of him. There are bizarre twists in tonight's penultimate episode and several scenes that make you shift uneasily in your seat. But that's Silk for you. Creator Peter Moffat is back on writing duties and the sparkle is back in the script as a consequence. 'This is a drinking profession,' barrister Caroline Warwick (Frances Barber) tells Billy (Neil Stuke) when he queries her intake. 'I drink fast and hard and I get up in the morning sober as a judge and twice as lively.' Not only is Warwick keen to join Shoe Lane chambers but our heroine Martha (Maxime Peake) finds herself on the opposing side in a high-stakes case. (This requires the kind of jiggery-pokery that Moffat pulls off with some sleight-of-hand and a loud cough.) It's one of two emotionally charged cases Martha has to defend, but that's where Silk scores. It lays bare the innards of the law where it's all about politics and emotion. One doesn't imagine the real-life Bar is anything like this, but really, who cares? This is TV drama not real life!

Professor David Wilson uses cutting-edge criminological techniques to examine the crimes committed by three of Britain's most notorious murderers, and link them to more unsolved cases in Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story - 8:00 Channel Five. He begins by focusing on `Suffolk Strangler' Steve Wright , who is presently serving a life sentence for the murders of five women who worked as prostitutes in Ipswich - and finds evidence suggesting he may also have claimed at least one victim in Norfolk.

A woman is found murdered after complaining to the police when a lock of her hair was cut off in an elevator in CSI - 9:00 Channel Five. A clue at the scene leads DB and the team to suspect the culprit has a fetish for women's hair - and they realise they are searching for a serial killer when another woman dies in similar circumstances. 'Everything's going to be okay, I promise,' says Russell (Ted Danson) to a terrified witness-victim, the kind of not-reassuring reassurance that crime-show heroes routinely issue in the face of serial killers. But, somehow, it sounds slightly more credible coming from Ted Danson. Which makes it all the more horrible when the lady in question is brutally murdered in her own home later in the episode. The women of Las Vegas have good cause to be worried: there's a hair fetishist on the loose who is killing women, blinding them, stuffing braids in their mouths and leaving them dressed like something from an early Brian De Palma film. 'Extreme makeover, psychopath edition,' as Sara puts it. The case is horror-movie unpleasant and really rather disturbing at times, but Danson, like a cool uncle, makes everything better. Guest starring William Ragsdale (Justified) and Brianna Brown (Homeland).

Wednesday 13 June
Back to the football and Denmark versus Portugal (kick-off 5.00pm). The second round of Group B fixtures gets under way with this clash at the Arena Lviv, featuring two nations also drawn alongside each other in the qualification process for this tournament. Although they claimed one win apiece when they met, Portugal winning 3-1 in Oporto and Denmark triumphing 2-1 in Copenhagen, it was the Danes who topped the group with a three-point margin of safety, while the Portuguese went into the play-off stage by virtue of a superior goal difference to Norway. Portugal are appearing in a European Championship for the sixth time in their history, with their best performance seeing them finish as runners-up when they hosted the tournament eight years ago. That proved to be their last opportunity to capitalise on their so-called 'golden generation' of players which included the likes of Luis Figo and Rui Costa, who retired following that calamitous loss to Greece. But the current squad can boast the talents of Real Madrid star and cheating little greasy twat Cristiano Ronaldo and The Scum winger Nani. Presented by greed bucket Adrian Chiles. Badly. Again.

Over to the BBC for the Netherlands versus Germany (kick-off 7.45pm). Gary Lineker presents coverage from the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, where the Group B teams play their second match of the round-robin stage. Dutchman Robin van Persie and Germany's Lukas Podolski may be team-mates at The Arse next year, but there will be no love lost between them as the Dutch take on the Jerries and they each try to fire their side to glory in the showpiece fixture in the so-called Group of Death. Both teams are fancied to emerge from the group stages, but today's clash may be crucial to deciding who they face in the knock-out rounds. The Dutch have an excellent record in this competition, having won it - magnificently - in 1988 and reached at least the quarter-final stage of every tournament since. As impressive as that may be, it is bettered by that of their opponents, who are three-time champions and have been runners-up on three more occasions, including four years ago. There have been two previous meetings between these nations at past European Championships since the reunification of Germany, firstly at Euro '92 when the Dutch claimed a 3-1 group-stage victory in Gothenburg, Sweden, and most recently at Euro 2004, when a 1-1 draw helped the Netherlands progress to the knock-out stage and contributed to Germany's elimination. It's one of the great rivalries in world football. So, come on Holland!

Anyone missing their weekly fix of Danish intrigue can rest easy. BBC4 are repeating the best TV drama of the last couple of years that doesn't have the word 'Sherlock' in the title, Borgen - 9:00. Birgitte Nyborg Christensen is the leader of a centrist - vaguely common sense - Danish political party. She decides to make a drastic change to her campaign strategy just three days before a parliamentary election. However, her colleagues and the media are far from convinced this risky tactic will pay off. Meanwhile, her press adviser Kasper Juul and leading TV journalist Katrine Fonsmark both receive surprising news. This beautifully nuanced political thriller, from the same production company that gave us The Killing, is a real class act. And the ten-part Borgen, shown in double bills, like The Killing features another strong female lead. Birgitte is a wild card in Denmark’s general election, a married mother-of-two with unwavering beliefs and old-school honesty. But the leaking of a financial indiscretion involving the incumbent PM catapults her career onto the national stage. The whirling-dervish spin doctoring grips from the start, while the second-string characters (aspiring TV journalist Katrine, pushy adviser Kaspar) are deftly depicted. But Sidse Babett Knudsen is superb as Birgitte – unshowy but commanding – and the scenes of her home life (the kind of thing British drama often conveys in advert-style shorthand) have the ring of truth about them. It may lack serial killers – and knitwear – but Borgen has the same commitment to quality. Like The West Wing with Scandinavian accents. If you missed it last time around, you need to watch this.

A Short History of Everything Else - 10:00 Channel Four - sees shouty Griff Rhys Jones hosting a comedy panel game which uses archive clips to test contestants' knowledge of history, with team captains Marcus Brigstocke and Charlie Baker. They are joined for this edition by Kirsty Wark and Micky Flanagan, and the panellists provide irreverent interpretations of events in the past few decades, which range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Thursday 14 June
Italy versus Croatia (kick-off 5.00pm). Gary Lineker presents coverage of this evening's Group C encounter at the Municipal Stadium Poznan. This is the second major tournament in which Italy and Croatia have been drawn against each other in the group stage, having previously faced each other in Group G of the 2002 World Cup. When the nations clashed on that occasion, Croatia created a real stir by fighting back from a goal down to pinch a 2-1 win in Ibaraki, which proved to be their only victory of the tournament, as they were eliminated without progressing to the knock-out stage, while Italy would finish in second place and move on to the last sixteen. As with that encounter in 2002, Italy will go into this clash as favourites to triumph, mainly due to their impressive record in the qualification process for this tournament. The Azzurri, coached by former Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli, topped Group C with a record of eight wins and two draws from their ten matches, which saw them score seventeen goals and concede just twice in the nine completed games, with a home match against Serbia being abandoned due to rioting. Croatia finished as runners-up in Group F, but overcame Turkey in a two-legged play-off to appear at a third consecutive European Championship. With analysis by Lee Dixon, Clarence Seedorf and Niall Quinn.

ITV, meanwhile, have Spain versus Republic of Ireland (kick-off 7.45pm). Coverage of this evening's Group C match at the Arena Gdansk. Giovanni Trapattoni's men will go into this clash as underdogs against the reigning champions, who triumphed not only at Euro 2008, but also at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and have a combined record of eleven wins, one loss and one draw at those two championships. In addition to that impressive tally, Vicente Del Bosque's men also won all eight of their matches in the qualification process to book their ticket for Poland and Ukraine. The most recent meeting between these nations took place at the 2002 World Cup, when Mick McCarthy's Ireland produced a valiant display in the last sixteen that would ultimately result in their elimination on penalties, with the teams level at 1-1 after extra-time. That was the last appearance for an Irish side at a major tournament, and Trapattoni will hope his current squad is more harmonious than that which represented the nation in Japan and South Korea, as he attempts to lead them to the knockout stage for the first time.

Extraordinary People - 9:00 Channel Five - returns with the stories of three young people overcoming huge medical challenges. It begins with Terri Calvesbert, who at the age of twenty two months suffered devastating burns in a house fire - injuries so severe that her rescuers at first mistook her for a charred doll. As she turns fifteen and begins to take her future into her own hands, this documentary charts her recovery, including an operation to create a thumb, and follows Terri on a trip to Los Angeles to meet other young people with similar experiences. As well as revealing the special bond the teenager shares with her father, the programme includes the first TV interview with her mother Julie, who accidentally started the fire. Here she reveals why she stopped seeing her daughter when she was a toddler and how they are now back in touch.

Tonight's Top of the Pops 1977 - 7:30 BBC4 - is a vintage edition of the pop show from a year that saw number one singles by artists including the late Donna Summer, yer actual Paul McCartney and Wings, Rod Stewart, David Soul, ABBA, The Jacksons, Manhattan Transfer, Hot Chocolate, Leo Sayer, Kenny Rogers, Julia Covington, The Floaters and Deniece Williams.
Niiiiice!

A new series of Mock the Week begins - 10:00 BBc2. Nathan Caton, Greg Davies and funny-as-a-kick-in-the-knob Micky Flanagan join host Dara O Briain and regular panellists Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons and Chris Addison for another round of the satirical news quiz.

Friday 15 June
Or, there's football. Ukraine versus France (kick-off 5.00pm). ITV get coverage of the Group D encounter in Donetsk, where the teams play their second match of the tournament. Euro 2000 winners France will be hoping not only to succeed in winning this competition for the third time in their history, but also to restore some pride following their dismal display at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Despite having a star-studded squad that could boast the likes of Franck Ribery, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka, they finished bottom of Group A with just a single point, earned in a 0-0 draw with Uruguay. That campaign was dominated by a dispute between head coach Raymond Domenech and several of the first-team players, which led to Les Bleus boycotting training and to the subsequent removal of Domenech following their elimination. Former captain Laurent Blanc was appointed as his successor, and remains in charge for this tournament, but has himself come under much scrutiny back home following several sub-par performances of late.

Then, it's 'The Big One', Sweden versus England (kick-off 7.45pm). And, this one's on the BBC so it should, at least, be watchable. Gary Lineker presents coverage of tonight's Group D match at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, where the teams play their second game of the campaign. This is the fourth time that England have been drawn against Sweden in the group stage of a major tournament, having also faced them at the World Cup in 2002 and 2006, and at Euro '92, when a 2-1 victory for the Swedes saw them progress at England's expense. Both of those previous World Cup encounters ended in draws, and on each occasion a point proved to be enough to help both nations reach the knockout stage. More recently, last November saw England play host to the Swedes in an international friendly at Wembley Stadium, when a Daniel Majstorovic own goal resulted in a 1-0 victory for what were then Fabio Capello's men. Though that proved to be England's first win over the Scandinavians since 1968, there seemed to be little cause for celebration given the drab nature of the match, which was played out in front of the lowest crowd for an England game since the national stadium was rebuilt.

Tonight also sees the final part of the excellent Punk Britannia - 9:00 BBC4 - featuring an insight into the post-punk era between 1978 and 1981, when a new generation of artists emerged, inspired by the genre's rebellious nature. Gang of Four and Scritti Politti infused their music with radical politics, while The Pop Group adopted an anti-capitalist sentiment. Featuring contributions by John Lydon, Mark E Smith, Jerry Dammers and Peter Hook. Narrated by Peter Capaldi. Last in the series.

From punks to old hippies in tonight's episode of Lewis - 8:00 ITV. It's a repeat, but a good one. The detective discovers his favourite 1970s band is on the verge of a comeback - along with their singer Esme Ford, who has made a shocking reappearance from beyond the grave, having faked her own death thirty five years earlier. But when an orphan is found dead on the other side of town, a forensic link leads Lewis and Hathaway to suspect the aged rockers may be somehow involved. Joanna Lumley, David Hayman, Simon Callow and silly little Helen Baxendale guest-star in a terrific cast alongside yer actual Kevin Whately and Mr Billie Piper.

And, so to the news: Leanne Mitchell has won the first series of The Voice. The Tom Jones-mentored singer triumphed over fellow finalists Bo Bruce, Tyler James and Vince Kidd to become the first ever victor of the reality show on Saturday night. After being asked by host Holly Willoughby for her reaction to the news, a clearly overwhelmed Mitchell said: 'Oh my God, I can't believe it!' Well, that's original. Upon making his way to the stage to accompany his act, Jones told her: 'You deserve it. It gives me confidence that there is justice in this world.' A cloud of confetti then enveloped the stage, with Mitchell's fellow contestants and coaches O'Donoghue, Jessie J and will.i.am running up to congratulate her. Earlier in the evening, Mitchell had sung versions of James Brown's 'It's a Man's Man's Man's World' and a reprise of Whitney Houston's 'Run to You', which she had chosen as her favourite song of the series. She also teamed up with her coach on a cover of Jones's 'Mama Told Me Not to Come.' She will now receive the show's prize of one hundred thousand smackers and a record deal with Universal Republic. The night also saw a medley from the coaches on each other's songs, with guest spots from Ed Sheeran, who performed new single 'Small Bump', and Maroon 5, who played both 'Payphone' and 'Moves Like Jagger'. The final had an average overnight audience of 7.14m viewers with a peak of 8.74m at 21:20.

Actor Samuel West came to the rescue of a play he was directing when one of its stars fell from a ladder on stage minutes after the curtain went up. The accident happened during Saturday's matinee of Alan Plater's 1968 classic Close the Coalhouse Door, at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford. West was in the audience when actor Chris Connel was injured. Connel was taken to hospital but later discharged. Following a short break, West came on stage and read his lines from a script. Connel, who fell about fifteen feet from a ladder, was taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in 'a lot of pain.' He was later discharged and sent home to rest. Audience member Mike Smartt said West told the audience it was by chance he was in Guildford that day to watch the play he was directing. Smartt added that Connel, who played Jackie in the musical play about a coal-mining family from a North East, had reportedly injured himself on Friday evening but insisted on continuing. West, who starred in Howards End and Notting Hill, played the role again for Saturday evening's audience on the last night of the Northern Stage and Live Theatre production's four-day run.

Shares in ITV were down nearly six per cent on Friday after an analyst report poured cold water on the expected spike in the TV advertising market for the Olympics. The advertising market in July, when the London 2012 opening ceremony will go ahead, could be down by as much as ten per cent year-on-year, according to Liberum Capital. ITV's share price tumbled to 68.56p on the gloomy forecast, down 5.95 per cent on the previous day's closing price. On Monday, the stock had reached eighty pence as investors backed ITV to benefit from a buoyant summer on the Olympics and Euro 2012. Earlier in the year, the commercial broadcaster had predicted that ad revenue could be up as much as 17% in June due to Euro 2012 tournament. But Liberum feels that on the back of the ten per cent decline in July, the market could also be down by as much as five per cent in August. Ian Walker, the head of media research at Liberum Capital, told Media Week that many non-Olympic sponsors are holding back activity for fear of their campaigns being lost, while others are even cancelling adverts entirely. 'It looks as though those advertisers not associated with the Olympics have looked at the macro environment, with the uncertainty with Greece and the Euro and decided it's probably better to hold off spending,' he said. 'You could even argue that people won't watch commercial TV [while London 2012 is on], so September will be a key month [for ITV].' Television audiences are expected to be up twenty per cent in August, but it has been observed that most viewers will be tuning in to the BBC, the licence-fee funded host broadcaster of the Olympics. Analysts expect ITV to see its advertising revenue fall by four per cent in the third quarter of the year (July to September), against early predictions of a four per cent growth. Investec issued a note cutting its forecast for ITV, and setting a target price of sixty pence for the firm's shares. ITV declined to comment on the report. Despite enduring potentially difficult summer months, ITV's prospects are expected to improve from September when its big shows, such as The X Factor, return.

Australia's cricketers could boycott the one-day tour of England this summer, according to a report in The Australian newspaper. Australian Cricketers Association' head Paul Marsh said there was the possibility of industrial action over performance-related pay issues. They are due to face England in five one-day internationals, with the first at Lord's on 29 June. Marsh said: 'We're looking at all options.' The Oval, Edgbaston, Chester-Le-Street and Old Trafford are also scheduled to host one-day internationals in July, while Australia's schedule includes limited-overs games against Leicestershire and Essex. In addition, the tourists are expected to face Ireland in Belfast on 23 June. Australia's players and governing body Cricket Australia were talking about moving to performance-related pay but complications have arisen in the negotiations. Marsh said there were contingency plans should a resolution not be agreed with Cricket Australia before 1 July. He added that his members were preparing for the possibility of an industrial stand-off if there was no contract in place before the current one ends. 'There are only twenty nine days of negotiations left to run, so of course we are preparing for the eventuality of not having a deal in place before the end of July,' Marsh said.

The Olympic flame has been carried on a TT motorcycle as the torch relay visits the Isle of Man. Three-time World Enduro Champion, David Knight rode pillion with the torch behind fellow Manxman and former TT winner Richard Milky Quayle. The flame also travelled on a horse tram and bicycle as it continued its tour on Day Fifteen of the relay. It ended the day with a flight to Belfast, ahead of a five day visit to Northern Ireland. The flame arrived on the Isle of Man at Ronaldsway Airport on British Airways plane The Firefly from Liverpool. The first torchbearer of the day, Leanne Harper, set off from the National Sports Centre in Douglas at around 10:30. She has Cystic Fibrosis and did a lap of the athletics track at the centre. In 2012 she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raising more than twelve grand for CF Research. Paralympic medallist Ian Sharpe carried the torch through Douglas. The visually-impaired athlete has competed for Great Britain since 1984. He was born in the Isle of Man and has won five silver and five bronze Paralympic medals, as well as being four times World Champion as a swimmer. He was also a double world and European Champion cyclist in 2005. Gymnast Emily Dale-Beeton, thirteen, also carried the torch in the capital. She represented the Isle of Man at national events and became the youngest competitor at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. The flame was carried on a lifeboat in recognition of the fact that the RNLI was founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, who lived in Douglas. Later in the day two RNLI employees carried the torch - Juan Howland and Simon Mcferran. During the relay it also boarded the Manx Electric Railway to Laxey. Another of the torchbearers was Neil Cain, treasurer and fundraiser for the Tommy Clucas Memorial Fund, set up after his friend died in the 2004 Manx race. There was also Henry De Silva, seventy eight from Ramsey who is president of the Veteran's Fencing Association and won a gold medal during the fencing championships in Australia. Other torchbearers included Stuart Lambie MBE, a keen sportsman who has spent twenty seven years as headteacher of Foxdale Primary School, and Bethany De Legh-Runciman who became a Manx celebrity by being the only walker to complete the eighty five mile Isle Of Man Parish Walk twice. In six years she has run over sixty marathons, covering six thousand miles and raising fifteen thousand quid for local charities. The flame also visited Ballasalla and Castletown before heading back to Ronaldsway Airport for a flight to Belfast. It boarded The Firefly once more, the plane which was used when it was taken from Greece to the UK on 18 May.

Some sad news now, Desperate Housewives and The West Wing star Kathryn Joosten has died at the age of seventy two. Kathryn died on Saturday in Westlake Village, California, reports TVLine. She had previously suffered from lung cancer, but at present her cause of death is unknown. Her family said in a statement that the actress was 'surrounded by love and humour 'til the end,' adding: 'We are laughing through our tears.' The actress portrayed Karen McCluskey on the hit ABC series, and appeared in all eight seasons of the show. She received Emmys in 2005 and 2008 for 'Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy' for her role as Wisteria Lane's trouble-making babysitter, with Joosten claiming that people found the character 'relatable to every family.' Her co-star Dana Delaney, paid tribute after the news was announced by tweeting: 'Very sad to hear of Kathy Joosten's death. She was a salt-of-the earth nurse who became a brilliant actor. Her comic timing was nonpareil.' Kathryn was also famous for her role on The West Wing as Delores Landringham, secretary to Martin Sheen's President Bartlet. Something of a latecomer to show business, Kathryn did not begin taking acting classes until the age of forty two, after previously working as a psychiatric nurse at a medium security hospital unit in Chicago. But after getting divorced and hearing her mother's deathbed regrets at not having pursued her dreams, Kathryn decided to revisit her childhood passion for acting and became involved with her local community theatre. She then worked as a street performer at Disney World in Florida before moving to Hollywood in the mid-1990s and winning small roles in shows including Murphy Brown, Frasier and The Drew Carey Show. The West Wing brought wider recognition. 'Some people in Hollywood think of me as a model for dramatic mid-life transitions - from suburban housewife to Emmy-winning actress,' she said. 'But I never plotted out a master plan for following my dreams. Her TV career saw her take roles in Roseanne, Home Improvement, ER, Seinfeld, The X-Files, Joan of Arcadia, Dharma and Greg, Just Shoot Me!, Scrubs, Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She encouraged Desperate Housewives' creator Marc Cherry to give her character lung cancer in order to raise awareness. The show ended just three weeks ago and Kathryn's character was seen dying in the final episode.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, and yet another subtle hint to this blogger's opinion of this weekend's celebrations. Sod the jubilee. Tell 'em all about it, Joe.

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