Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If This Don't Make Your Booty Move, Your Booty Must Be Dead

Let us start off today's bloggerisationisms, dear blog reader, with some proper excellent news for lovers of pure dead dark drama. The third series of Luther has begun shooting. The show's official Twitter account posted an image of Idris Elba back on the set of the popular BBC crime drama earlier on Monday. Luther was officially commissioned up for a third series by the BBC in January, on the back of a critically acclaimed, award-winning and, in ratings terms, successful second series. BBC America will, again, co-produce the new episodes, which will once again see Elba appear alongside colleagues Warren Brown (Justin Ripley), Dermot Crowley (Schenk), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Erin Gray) and Michael Smiley (Benny Silver). Series creator Neil Cross - recently busy writing scripts for Doctor Who - has expressed his desire to produce both a Luther movie and a spin-off TV show featuring the character of Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson) once the third series has been shown. Paul McGann - who played Mark North in the first two series of Luther - also voiced his desire to return to the drama in an interview with the Digital Spy website. 'I thought we'd lost Idris to super-stardom!' McGann said earlier this year. 'I know he won a Golden Globe so I was thinking, "We'll never get him back." But no, I'd like to make more Luther - that was fun.'

BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution Latin America have announced that the sixth series of Doctor Who will be broadcast in the region via the Latin America channel OnDIRECTV. Willard Tressel, OnDIRECTV's General Manager, said: 'We value our ongoing partnership with BBC Worldwide, which allows us to offer a variety of high quality content on OnDIRECTV and OnDIRECTV HD to our subscribers in Latin America. Plus, after airing the recent series re-boot of Doctor Who, our subscribers have been urgently asking for more!' Helen Jurado, VP, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide Latin America, said: 'Doctor Who boasts a massive audience and fan following around the world and OnDIRECTV is the perfect home for this incredibly successful show. As one of the longest-running sci-fi [sic] programs [sic] in history, we are confident it will gain further traction with viewers and attract new legions of fans throughout Latin America as it approaches its fiftieth anniversary.'
The prime minister's former chums Andy Coulson and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks are among five people to be charged in connection with corrupt payments to police officers and other public officials. Coulson is, of course, the former Downing Street communications director and Brooks is the ex-chief executive of News International. Both previously edited the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. Operation Elveden is the Metropolitan police's investigation into corrupt payments and other information leaks. Both Coulson and Brooks are already facing a number of other charges related to illegal phone-hacking and, in Brooks's case, obstruction of justice. Both deny all of the charges. The others charged in connection with payments to police and public officials are journalists Clive Goodman and John Kay and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber. The five have been charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. Goodman is the former royal correspondent of the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World newspaper. Kay is the former Sun chief reporter. So far fifty two people have been arrested as part of Operation Elveden. Two of them - a retired police officer and a former journalist - have been informed that they will face no further action.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milimolimandi are to meet half-a-dozen 'victims of press intrusion' on Wednesday as the campaign for press reform is stepped up ahead of the publication of the Leveson report into future regulation of newspapers. Hacked Off, which is campaigning for new legislation for a press watchdog, has secured three separate meetings with the party leaders in a bid to urge them to support the recommendations of the Leveson report which is expected to be published at the end of next week. Chris Jefferies, the Bristol landlord caught up in the murder investigation of the landscape architect Joanna Yeates, has been confirmed as one of the attendees. Hacked Off's use of a group of victims of press malpractice marks a departure from its strategy to date of relying on the actor Hugh Grant to front its campaign. Some have criticised its reliance on celebrity star-power, after a meeting with Cameron in October when Rupert Murdoch described Grant and others as 'scumbag celebrities.' Something for which he was, later, forced to - grovellingly - apologise. 'None of them could be described as a "celebrity,"' said a spokesman for Hacked Off, underlining the change in approach. He continued: 'We are grateful that the three party leaders have agreed to meet with us and we will be asking them to continue the cross-party consensus that marked the launch of the Leveson inquiry.'

Holly Willoughby has complained to the Press Complaints Commission over a picture published by the Sunday Sport which her lawyers described as 'a fake up-the-skirt photo.' Jonathan Coad of law firm Lewis Silkin, representing the ITV presenter, said that the paper was 'known' for its 'habitual use' of faked photos featuring 'attractive female stars.' He said the paper had previously superimposed a picture of Willoughby's face on someone else's naked body to make it look as she had posed in the nude. He accused the paper of 'shoddy journalism' and called the PCC to act in order 'to establish in the minds of everyone who saw that picture that it was not of Holly and because the habitual use by the Sunday Sport of such a technique is a gross infringement of the rights of Holly and all the other female stars.' Willoughby, who co-hosts ITV's This Morning - she's the one who isn't currently getting letters from Lord McAlpine's lawyers - said: 'I was outraged to discover that I was the victim of this misleading trick by the Sunday Sport, which I know it used on many other women such as myself. I have instructed my lawyers to take firm action against the paper.' The photo, which has also been distributed on Twitter, reputedly shows Willoughby sitting in a car. Coad said in his letter to the PCC that the paper 'commonly' publishes such pictures. A spokesman for the PCC confirmed it had a complaint from Willoughby under clauses one and three of the editors code of practice that relate to accuracy and privacy. Sunday Sport was launched in 1986 by David Sullivan, who made his fortune in publishing soft core porn titles. Sullivan - now the owner of West Ham United - sold his stake in Sports Newspapers to Interactive World, later renamed Sports Media Group, in 2007. Sullivan rescued the company from potential bankruptcy two years later by lending it £1.68m in exchange for a near ten per cent stake in the company. He paid just fifty grand to take control of the title in April 2011, after SMG went into administration.
Billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has 'aggressively defended' the publication of pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underpants by the Sun and the New York Post in 2005, following suggestions that the publisher of the tabloids could face investigation in the US over payments made to obtain the photos. The picture was run on the front pages of both newspapers in May 2005, prompting a complaint from President Bush's spokesperson. The Sun's managing editor, Graham Dudman, admitted paying for pictures of the late Iraqi dictator in captivity which were alleged to have come from the US military. The Tyrant's In His Pants, said the Sun's headline, while the Post opted for Butcher of Sagdad against an image of Hussein wearing nothing more than a pair of ill-fitting white Y-fronts. Murdoch's US tabloid credited the Sun on its front page for images which were thought to date back to between January and April 2004. News Corp said it 'stood by its decision' to publish, saying efforts to highlight the story and link it to ongoing anti-corruption investigations in the US and the UK were just 'a lame attempt to regurgitate old news.' Citing statements made by Dudman at the time, News Corp said the issue was 'widely reported' on contemporaneously. A spokesperson added: 'We didn't believe then, and certainly don't believe now, that it was wrong to acquire and publish newsworthy photographs of a notorious war criminal.' The Sun did not dispute paying for the photographs, with Dudman saying in 2005 that the newspaper paid 'a small sum' to secure the pictures, which it said was in excess of five hundred smackers. Having done so, it acted aggressively to defend its copyright, and reports at the time suggested it was demanding twenty grand for republication. Payments to any public officials are illegal in the US and the UK, and twenty one journalists at the Sun have been arrested as part of the long-running Operation Elveden investigation into corrupt payments in Britain. The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bans all US-owned companies from bribing public officials, and the company is currently under investigation by the FBI.

Homeland and Emmerdale were among the winners at the Mind Media Awards 2012. The ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry at the British Film Institute on Monday evening, recognises the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media. The Showtime terrorism drama was honoured for its presentation of lead character Carrie Mathison's battle with bipolar disorder, which she attempts to keep hidden for the sake of her CIA career. The 'Soap' award went to ITV's Emmerdale for Zak Dingle's depression storyline, as he struggled to come to terms with the diagnosis. Jasmine Harman's Britain's Biggest Hoarder won for 'Documentary', while her mother, Vasoulla Savvidou - one of the subjects of the programme - collected the Speaking Out award for her honesty and bravery in discussing her experiences. The Saturdays' Frankie Sandford presented the Speaking Out award. Recalling her own struggles, she said: 'Speaking out about mental health problems can be hard for someone in the public eye, but it can be even harder for someone not used to publicity. In May this year, I gave an interview to Glamour magazine in which I talked for the first time about my own experience of depression and panic attacks. I know how hard that was and it is incredibly humbling to hear some of the first hand experience from those in the programmes featured here tonight.' BBC Radio 4's Henry's Demons, the Sunday Express's Crusade for Better Mental Health campaign and Channel Four News's anti-psychotic Drugs for Kids investigation were also honoured.

Channel Five has been censured by the media watchdog Ofcom over an incident during this summer's series of Big Brother. In an episode broadcast on 25 June, contestant Conor McIntyre was seen verbally abusing fellow housemate Deana Uppal behind her back. Ofcom received eleven hundred and thirty nine complaints about the episode. It said McIntryre's comments were in breach of guidelines and 'clearly capable of causing grave offence.' McIntyre made the remarks which contained 'explicit descriptions of sexual violence,' following a challenge set by Big Brother. He also made gestures which Ofcom found to 'compound the effect of his already explicit verbal threats.' Following the incident McIntyre was summoned to the Diary Room to explain the 'potentially offensive' comments and was told that his language was 'unacceptable.' McIntyre subsequently apologised for his behaviour during another visit to the Diary Room. He was also questioned about his conduct during his exit interview. However, Ofcom stated that Channel Five did 'not do enough' to limit the potential for McIntyre's comments to cause serious offence to some viewers. It ruled that while viewers would have been aware that Big Brother disapproved of his behaviour, Channel Five 'failed to sufficiently mitigate the very high level of offence that was caused.' It added that while McIntyre's exit interview on 3 August was 'handled in a way that conveyed the seriousness' of the remarks, it took place more than five weeks after the actual incident. Ofcom found the broadcast to be in breach of rule 2.3 - which requires material which may cause offensive to be 'justified' by the context. Big Brother was launched on UK television in 2000 and was a huge hit for Channel Four for ten years before declining ratings caused its cancellation. Channel Five started showing the series in 2011.

Sky saved forty million smackers a year thanks to a tax loophole on magazines, it has been revealed. The broadcaster charged customers a nominal fee of £2.20 a month for the Sky Magazine, after a previous loophole saw magazines zero-rated for VAT, meaning that the company could avoid VAT on a small but significant percentage of its total revenue. The saving, which comes to around three to four quid per person, would have amounted to between thirty and forty million notes a year across Sky's ten million subscribers, according to the Gruniad Morning Star. In 2005, UK courts ruled that cable companies could deduct VAT on 'cable guide' magazines such as Sky Magazine if they were structured so that customers received 'a genuine product at a fair price' from a separate company. This led to Sky relaunching BSkyB Publications that year with James Murdoch the small on the board. In 2011, a small note on the Sky Magazine masthead told readers: '£2.20 of your package price is paid by you to BSkyB Publications Ltd for this magazine.' In February 2011, after a variety of anti-tax avoidance legislation was announced to be implemented in the spring, including measures to stop VAT 'supply-splitting,' Sky announced it would 'cease publication' of Sky Movies and Sky Sports Magazine, as well as 'downsizing' Sky Magazine. By October all of the magazines had ceased publication, and BSkyB Publications itself began to wind down. A Sky spokesman said: 'The TV listing magazine that Sky used to publish was, in common with all newspapers and magazines, zero-rated for VAT,' before adding that Sky continues to make a large tax contribution. Which might well be true but that wasn't the question which was asked.

A six-year-old girl has, reportedly, delivered her baby sister thanks to the television series Casualty. Francesca Goodby saw her twenty eight-year-old mother Kay in labour when she recalled an episode of the medical drama which saw a woman giving birth. While her father was downstairs calling emergency services, Francesca was in the bathroom helping her mother through the childbirth, reports SWNS. Roisin, weighing six lbs eight oz, was born after twelve minutes of pushing. Kay said afterwards: 'I was so impressed with Francesca. She was remarkably cool and collected for a six-year-old. She had gone to bed but woke up when I started screaming. She was keeping me calm and telling me where to put my hands and telling me to keep breathing. I was really surprised that she knew what to do.' Francesca said: 'I didn't want the cord to be wrapped around her neck, because she might have died, and I held her when she was born to keep her safe. I don't know how I knew about it, but I do watch Casualty and like it a lot.' Popular television. Is there anything it can't achieve?

John Hefin, the TV director and former head of drama at BBC Wales, has died at the age of seventy one from cancer. Hefin, from Borth, near Aberystwyth, was one of the creators of the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm. He also worked on The Life and Times of David Lloyd George and Grand Slam. 'Throughout his life, John had so much pleasure working in the world of television, film and the media,' his family said in a statement following his death on Monday. 'As a producer and director, he was proud of the chance to work alongside so much talent in Wales - both on and off screen,' the family said. 'He spent a large part of his life educating and inspiring others - something that pleased him immensely.' Hefin's family said he had been delighted to receive awards from BAFTA Cymru and the media project Cyfrwng in recent months, and that his loss would be 'greatly felt.' Following the BAFTA Cymru award for his outstanding contribution to television drama, Hefin said it was thanks to all the people he had worked with who said 'yes' to his requests rather than the 'jobsworths' who refused. 'It was, and still is, better sometimes to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission,' he said at the awards in October. 'This award is for cast and crews that said "yes" and I'm deeply grateful.' Hefin was awarded the MBE in 2009 and had been honoured with the white robes of the Gorsedd of the Bards at the National Eisteddfod. Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales, said Hefin's contribution to drama and film making in Wales had been 'unparalleled. He understood his audiences better than anybody - and was equally adept at both classical and popular drama in both languages,' he said. 'He also inspired a generation of producers, writers and actors with his mercurial and generous leadership, and that immense creative legacy will undoubtedly stand the test of time.'

A man caught publicly masturbating refused to stop and told police officers that he was 'almost finished.' The repeat sex offender from Seattle, Washington was found sitting on a staircase in an alley with his pants round his ankles in a mid-crisis state. Police said that they discovered him 'in the throes of self-flagellation.' The Huffington Post reports that the thirty five-year-old was arrested and jailed for indecent exposure, after refusing to stop the act. Earlier in the day the police had been notified that the suspect had been 'walking around the neighbourhood yelling at people' and grabbing them. The news follows the recent story that a public masturbator in Washington State was 'shocked' and forced to run off after a woman he exposed himself to pulled a gun on him.

For today's Keith telly Topping's 33 of the Day, we've got a slab on massive dub-techno-ragga-stomp from Johnny Ball's son in law. And, why not?

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