Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men

The Doctor Who website has premiered part one of new online mini-adventure Pond Life. Time Lord Matt Smith is seen 'laying down some backing vocals' for Dizzee Rascal, fire-surfing to escape the Sontarans and staring at the naughty bits of an 'interesting woman' whilst toasting some crumpet. Fnaar, fnaar. Chris Chibnall's Pond Life provides a broadly comic glimpse of The Doctor's uninvited intrusions into the ordinary lives of companions Amy and Rory (yer actual Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill his very self). The five-part Internet spin-off will be uploaded daily from August 27 until Friday as a prelude to the start of the new series on Saturday. It's also nice to see that the Pond's have the same phone as yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self in their spacious yet 'umble abode.

And, here's part two.
Matt Smith has claimed that the show's fiftieth anniversary is 'unlikely' to feature a regeneration. In an interview with the Radio Times, the twenty nine-year-old actor appeared to dismiss rumours that he will leave the BBC's popular long-running family SF drama in November 2013. 'We want to make [the anniversary] as big and bold and as brilliant as we can because, we hope, it can be one of the monumental bits of TV history,' said Smith. 'But I doubt there'll be a regeneration.' He added: 'Steven will tease you all right to the end. Because that's what he does to me.' The very Moffat recently told the Digital Spy website that the anniversary celebrations would be 'huge', but added that fans will have plenty to look forward to before 2013. 'We've got an awful lot of stuff to announce before that,' he said. 'We don't aim to have one event, over a year in the future - we want to make Doctor Who an event every single week. And we're going to pull that off, so patience!'

The BBC have released a new set of images to promote the forthcoming Asylum of the Daleks, together with a synopsis of the plot. If you're spoiler avoiding then in might be an idea to look away now: 'Kidnapped by his oldest foe, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission - to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter. The Asylum. A planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind, the Doctor and the Ponds must find an escape route. But with Amy and Rory’s relationship in meltdown, and an army of mad Daleks closing in, it is up to the Doctor to save their lives, as well as the Pond’s marriage.' Smudger, meanwhile, appeared on Radio 1's Greg James Show on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon to promote the return of the series, during which he discussed being in New York at the weekend for the premiere for BBC America, his favourite moments on the series, and what he thinks about the potential for a female Doctor. The programme is available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer (approximately forty two minutes in) for the next seven days. Meanwhile, the Radio Times has provisionally listed Dinosaurs on a Spaceship to be broadcast at the even later time of 7:35pm on 8 September, making it the second latest time of broadcast for a Doctor Who episode since 2005 (only Gridlock was broadcast later at 7:40pm, and that was only because the FA Cup semi-final overran). BBC Programme Information has yet to confirm the time, which will be finalised later in the week. The BBC synopsis for Dinosaurs on a Spaceship reads: 'An unmanned spaceship hurtles towards certain destruction - unless the Doctor can save it, and its impossible cargo. Of dinosaurs! By his side a ragtag gang of adventurers, a big game hunter, an Egyptian Queen and a surprised member of the Pond family. But little does the Doctor know there is someone else on board who will stop at nothing to keep hold of his precious, prehistoric cargo.'
Yeah. It needs a 'KKLAK', really, doesn't it?
That's more like it.

It may have been described as 'bland' by one of its more mouthy actors - the one that sings the bloody theme tune, at that! - but there was nothing middle of the road about the audience for the return of BBC1's New Tricks, watched by nearly eight million punters on Monday night. The ninth series of the crime drama starring Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong and, for the final time, James Bolam, began with 7.8 million viewers, a 31.6 per cent share of the available audience, between 9pm and 10pm on Monday evening. New Tricks was up against a bank holiday Monday line-up including ITV documentary Harry's Mountain Heroes, about the attempt of five soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to climb Mount Everest, which had 2.3 million viewers between 9pm and 10.30pm. Contrasting offerings on BBC2 and Channel Four reaped similar rewards. BBC2's Horizon episode How Big is the Universe? had 1.5 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm, including one hundred and nine thousand on BBC HD. Channel Four's stand-up film Alan Carr Live: Spexy Beast, also had one and a half million viewers. New BBC1 sitcom Citizen Khan starring Adil Ray began with a pretty decent overnight figure of 3.6 million between 10.20pm and 10.50pm. Channel Four's The Boyle Variety Performance, featuring Mad Frankie Boyle his very self, had one million viewers between 10pm and 11.10pm. BBC4's Victoria Coren quiz Only Connect returned for a sixth series with nine hundred and five thousand viewers between 8.30pm and 9pm. BBC3's Our War documentary series, about young British soldiers in Afghanistan, had seven hundred and twenty eight thousand viewers between 9pm and 10pm. Overall, BBC1 topped primetime with 24.5 per cent of the audience share, beating ITV's lacklustre 18.5 per cent.

Still with overnight ratings, on Sunday evening, Inspector George Gently anchored BBC1's line-up, as the detective drama returned for a fifth run with a rather groovetastic Northern Soul-based episode attracting an overnight audience of 6.14m from 8.30pm, sending ITV's critically-acclaimed 9pm drama The Last Weekend crashing to 1.98m for its second episode. A further one hundred and ninety six thousand punters caught the Rupert Penry-Jones drama on ITV+1. Game shows fared better on ITV, with Bradley Walsh's The Chase pulling in 3.15m at 7pm and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? taking 3.14m at 8pm. Comedian Peter Kay - supposedly very popular although his blogger has never met anyone that finds him in the slightest bit funny - again to prove a draw for viewers on Channel Four, as a reshowing of his 2003 gig at Manchester Arena was watched by 2.24m in the 9pm hour, and an impressive five hundred and fifty thousand on C4+1. Disappointingly for Channel Four, however, Kay's popularity did not have the desired knock-on effect on Bad Sugar, a new sitcom pilot from the makers of Peep Show. Starring Olivia Coleman, the half-an-hour episode had an audience of seven hundred and ten thousand viewers, ending the broadcaster's Funny Fortnight season with something of a whimper. Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure (1.18m) and Toughest Place to be a Ferryman (1.34m) were broadcast between 8pm and 10pm on BBC2 and BBC HD. Overall, BBC1 topped primetime with 25.4 per cent of the audience share, over ITV's risibly bad twelve per cent. Charlie Brooker's spoof crime drama A Touch of Cloth premiered on Sky1 with decent ratings. Starring John Hannah and Suranne Jones, the two-part Airplane!-style comedy grabbed five hundred and seventeen thousand viewers between 9pm and 10.30pm. Sky Sports 1's Super Sunday Premier League clash between Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws and Sheikh Yer Man City topped the digital ratings table, scoring 1.33m for full coverage from 3.30pm.

Charlie Brooker has confirmed that his BBC4 Wipe strand of programming will continue. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Brooker suggested to the Gruniad Morning Star that the franchise will continue with broader specials like 2011 Wipe. 'The Wipe franchise is going to return in a slightly new form - beyond news, beyond screen, beyond games,' he announced. 'I think it'll be a kind of omni-wipe,' Brooker said. 'It's like an Emperor Dalek, it combines all the best and all the worst of all the different Wipes we've done, hopefully all in one.' Screenwipe aired for five series, after which two runs of Newswipe and a one-off Gameswipe were made. Brooker hasn't committed to a full series since 2010.
ITV Yorkshire has admitted than an 'unintended mistake' resulted in a highly offensive racist word being used in a segment on the Calendar News programme earlier in the year. On 22 May, the breakfast programme ended with a montage of clips illustrating the exceptionally sunny weather at the time, accompanied by a recording of the 1930s Noel Gay and Ralph Butler song 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On'. However, a viewer alerted Ofcom that the version of the song used contained offensive racial language. To wit: 'He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu/now he's coming back to do the same to you.' Ouch. Not cool. After being contacted by Ofcom, ITV said that the Calendar News programme editor had been 'completely unaware' that the original 1932 version of the song contained such an offensive term when they picked it for the montage. Due to this 'mistaken assumption,' the whole song was not reviewed before being played on the programme. ITV said that the language was 'very recognisably of an earlier age,' but accepted that the use of the term 'nigger' was 'clearly inappropriate.' Calendar News had, in fact, noticed the error shortly after it happened and ensured it was not repeated on the ITV+1 timeshift broadcast. ITV also ran an apology on its regional news bulletin later in the day, stating: 'Calendar would like to apologise for a piece of music we transmitted at the end of tonight's six o'clock programme, which contained offensive language. It was transmitted in error.' ITV said that senior management in the newsroom has been warned to ensure a similar incident does not happen again, and the situation will be referred to in future newsroom compliance training. So, probably best not to do a feature on Yorkshire police, for instance, and use something by the US rap collective NWA. Ofcom noted that the term used was considered by audiences to be amongst the most offensive language, and it was aired in the morning when anyone could have been watching. However, the regulator also accepted that ITV had taken sufficient action to atone for its mistake - in that the human who erred had been given a good talking to - and so considered the matter to be resolved.

A Tory MP has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to decide whether he is 'a man or a mouse' over the issue of a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The prime minister promptly asked for a piece of cheese. 'nuff said.
Sir Roger Moore has said he believes Daniel Craig is the best actor to have played James Bond. The eighty four-year-old, who played the character in seven films between 1973 and 1985 (four of them good ones), praised Craig's performances in his new book, Bond on Bond. 'I loved Casino Royale and Daniel Craig. He is a wonderful actor, certainly the best actor to play Bond,' yer actual Roge his very self said. He added that he believed the forty four-year-old had 'the best build of any Bond.' Recalling his own years as 007, the veteran actor said: 'Back then I could leap out of a chair without fear of my knees cracking. [I] could chew a toffee without fear of losing a tooth; could admire my flowing locks and my bronzed, slim torso. With a twitch of the old eyebrow I set pulses racing across the world, they say. These days it's my pacemaker that keeps my pulse racing.' Craig's third Bond film, Skyfall, is due for release in the UK on 26 October. A new trailer for the movie was unveiled last month, showing Bond being 'killed' in action and his boss M typing up his obituary.

ITV has ordered a new drama based on novel The Ice Cream Girls. Dorothy Koomson's 2010 work will be adapted by Case Sensitive writer Kate Brooke. Jodhi May and Lorraine Burroughs will play the lead roles in ITV's version, which enters production in Dublin at the end of August. The Ice Cream Girls tells the story of two women who were accused of murdering their schoolteacher as teenagers. Seventeen years later, both Serena Gorringe and Poppy Carlisle must confront their dark, shared history. Set in a seaside town, the three-part thriller will also star Martin Compston and Dona Croll. Lucy Dyke of producer Left Bank Pictures said: 'We are very excited to be in production on Kate Brooke's captivating scripts, based on Dorothy Koomson's bestselling novel. We have a stellar cast in place, led by two strong women, and look forward to bringing this powerful emotional thriller to the screen for ITV.'

Joanna Page has again ruled out a return for Gavin & Stacey. Which is, frankly, the best bit of news since Ruth Jones said more or less the same thing two days ago. Hurrah! Yer actual Keith Telly Topping likes this news. Now, if only we can get people to stop asking the former cast questions about it, hopefully, in a few year we might all be able to forget the whole sorry fiasco happened in the first place. I mean, it's worked for Don't Scare The Hare hasn't it?

The Sunday Times is exploring whether it can review the terms of its costly 2006 libel settlement with Lance Armstrong after the cyclist dropped his challenge to anti-doping charges being brought against him in the US. Armstrong sued the publisher of The Sunday Times and two of its journalists in 2004 over an investigation which questioned his repeated denials that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs. The seven-time Tour De France winner reached an out of court settlement with Times Newspapers Limited in July 2006 over the article, which previewed a book on Armstrong titled LA Confidential by the then Sunday Times chief sports writer, David Walsh. A spokeswoman for News International, the parent company of Times Newspapers, confirmed on Tuesday that it was now 'exploring' whether it could review the terms of the settlement. Details of the terms – including whether there was a payout for damages – have never been made public. The legal move comes after Armstrong revealed on Friday that he would not fight doping charges brought by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA announced that it had stripped Armstrong of each of his competitive titles from August 1998, including his seven Tour De France wins. Despite giving up the fight against the charges, Armstrong has maintained his innocence and on Saturday complained about what he described as a witch-hunt. 'Nobody needs to cry for me. I'm going to be great,' Armstrong said after competing in a thirty six-mile mountain bike race in Aspen, Colorado, at the weekend. 'I have five great kids and a wonderful lady in my life. My foundation is unaffected by all the noise out there. I think people understand that we've got a lot of stuff to do going forward. That's what I'm focused on and I think people are supportive of that. It's great to be out here.'

Ofcom has revoked the licence of Praise TV, the religious channel linked to controversial self-proclaimed bishop Gilbert Deya. Praise TV is broadcast under a licence issued to Destiny Broadcasting Network Europe by the media regulator. The channel features pastor Gilbert Deya, a self-styled evangelical bishop from Peckham who claimed to deliver 'miracle babies' to infertile women and has faced accusations of child abduction. After battling against extradition back to his home country of Kenya for several years, Deya lost his legal battle in September 2011. Praise TV has in the past broadcast controversial content, such as promising to cure viewers with serious illnesses by prayer if they offer a donation, however Ofcom has not previously sanctioned the channel. The TV regulator launched an investigation into the channel after becoming concerned that the licensee was not in fact 'the person with general control over which programmes are comprised in the service.' During the course of its investigation, statements made by Destiny Broadcasting 'failed to satisfy' Ofcom that it was the one making decisions about which programmes and content would be shown on Praise TV. The regulator also said that Destiny Broadcasting provided information that was 'false in a material particular or withheld any material information with the intention of causing Ofcom to be misled.' As a result, Ofcom has revoked Destiny Broadcasting's licence to broadcast, as of 15 August.

Tuesday's exciting and fun-packed schedule for yer actual Keith Telly Topping started with a visit to the chemist to pick up Mama Telly Topping's drugs. This was followed by a trip to Morrisons for bread, yorkshire pudding mix, eggs, pepper, olive oil, mushrooms and the Radio Times. Thence, a pop into the bank to see how much money yer actual Keith Telly Topping hasn't got. Thereafter it was across town to Specsavers to pick up Keith Telly Topping's first ever pair of varifocals (which feel a bit weird at the moment to be honest though, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self is sure he'll get used to them. Eventually). From there it was over to HMV with two ten pound tokens that Keith Telly Topping has had since Christmas (he picked up Contagion, Inglourious Basterds, Moon and Senna for, effectively, nowt. Which he thought, frankly, was a bit of a bargain). For lunch he had his first meal in a Chinese restaurant for what seems like forever (but was, actually, about two months). Then, like the dutiful son he is, he visited yer actual Mama Telly Topping her very self in the hospital (she was looking a bit brighter than on Sunday and, thankfully, the tube's been taken out of her nose). Keith Telly Topping then walked back into town in the beautiful sunshine through Leazes Park - past the boating lake - feeling somewhat a peace with nature, got the bus home and is now telling you all of this. Next, he plans to have a long cold drink of a tasty beverage of his choice, and go to bed for a couple of hours to watch Monday night's two episodes of A Touch of Cloth (which was very well reviewed so he's hopeful he might get a few laughs from them. He could do with some, dear blog reader!)

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day. Oh, if only wishing made it so ...

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