Monday, November 19, 2012

Man In The Crowd With The Multicoloured Mirrors On His Hobnail Boots

Nine years is, apparently the amount of time that the average Briton spends watching TV during their lifetime. According to figures released by ... some guy. Given that that's roughly the amount of time watching TV that yer actual Keith Telly Topping spends in, you know, nine years, then someone, somewhere is clearly not pulling their weight. We spend three-and-a-half hours a day watching TV, according to a Blinkbox survey reported by the Daily Scum Mail. Of those nine years, three of them are devoted to 'rubbish' programmes and repeats, it claims. Who, exactly, decides which programmes are 'rubbish', it doesn't say. For context – and, it's all about context ultimately, isn't it? – that's five times longer than the six hundred and fifty days the average adult spend shopping, playing sport and (ahem) having sex. Though, not all at the same time, obviously. It doesn't say how often we spend talking to idiot market research people on the phone or filling out pointless forms online, sadly. Or, indeed, how much time we spend reading about them.
The X Factor's ratings increased for Sunday night's episode, although it still trailed Strictly Come Dancing in overnight figures. Some 9.44 million crushed victims of society watched the singing contest's results show from 8pm, with a peak audience of nearly eleven million watching the show's supposed 'controversial' climax which saw Ella Henderson leave the competition to the anger of mentor Tulisa Contostavlos. The X Factor, gained half a million week-on-week, closed the gap on Strictly Come Dancing which was watched by 9.92m from 7.15pm, peaking to 10.27m as Richard Arnold was given his waltzing orders. I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) overtook Strictly to top the Sunday overnight ratings, pulling in an 'uge 10.19m on ITV. BBC1's new supernatural drama The Secret of Crickley Hall was watched by a decent opening night figure of 5.3m.

Meanwhile, BBC4's The Killing returned for its third series with a record audience of more than one million viewers on Saturday – but it was unable to top rival crime Scandinavian drama The Bridge. The further adventures of Sarah Lund and her jumper averaged 1.04 million viewers, including sixty four thousand on BBC HD, between 9pm and 10pm on Saturday. It was up on the second series launch, which began with eight hundred and fifteen thousand viewers in November last year, and the first series of The Killing, which opened with just under four hundred thousand viewers in January 2011. But not even the anticipation around the third – and final – series of the acclaimed Danish import could top The Bridge, which had a total of 1.097 million viewers when it launched on 21 April this year. The first episode of the new series was followed immediately by the second episode on BBC4, watched by seven hundred and eighty three thousand viewers between 10pm and 11pm.

The Great Detective, the prequel to the Doctor Who Christmas special, shown on Friday as part of the BBC's Children In Need programme, was watched by an estimated audience of 6.3 million viewers, according to overnight viewing figures. The trail for the upcoming episode, The Snowman, which shown an hour later, was watched by 8.6 million viewers, out-rating Coronation Street on ITV at the same time. The annual fundraising spectacular was watched by an overnight average of 8.06 million viewers between 7.30pm and 10pm on Friday on BBC1. Children In Need switched to BBC2 at 10pm to make way for the BBC's Ten O'Clock News, averaging 3.9 million viewers between 10pm and 10.40pm. It returned to BBC1 at 10.35pm, when it averaged 3.1 million viewers until 2am, the latest time for which overnight figures are currently available. The appeal show beat ITV's I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want), watched by 7.8 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm, and also had the better of Coronation Street, which had 5.9 million viewers between 8.30pm and 9pm. Elsewhere, BBC2's three-part Attenborough: Sixty Years in the Wild began with 2.2 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm while another popular BBC2 show, An Island Parish, returned for a seventh series with 2.1 million viewers. Channel Four's Derren Brown: Fear and Faith could only manage eight hundred thousand punters between 9pm and 10pm, beaten by Channel Five's US drama The Mentalist, with 1.2 million.

And, finally on the subject of ratings, here's the final consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes, week-ending 11 November 2012:-
1 I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity Desperate To Get My Boat-Race Back On TV ... Please Vote For Me To Stay Here As Long As Possible (I'll Even Eat Worms If You Want) - Sun ITV - 11.51m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 11.38m
3 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 9.31m
4 Coronation Street - Fri ITV - 9.15m
5 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.30m
6 Emmerdale - Tues ITV - 7.80m
7 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 7.56m
8 Merlin - Sat BBC1 - 6.85m
9 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.22m
10 The Paradise - Tues BBC1 - 5.69m
11 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.48m
12 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.47m
13 The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance - Sat BBC1 - 5.10m
14 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.08m
15 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.00m
16 DCI Banks - Wed ITV - 4.95m*
17= Pound Shop Wars - Wed BBC1 - 4.80m
17= Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.80m
19 Holby City - Tue BBC1 - 4.65m
20 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.50m
21 The Graham Norton Show - Fri BBC1 - 4.35m
22 Young Apprentice - Thurs BBC1 - 4.34m
23 Brazil With Michael Palin - Wed BBC1 - 4.20m
4 Surprise, Surprise - Sun ITV - 4.04m*
25 All Star Mr & Mrs - Wed ITV - 4.01*
Programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures.

[Spooks] star Nicola Walker and Coronation Street's Tracie Bennett have signed up for roles on Scott & Bailey. The pair will appear alongside Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp in the third series of the popular ITV crime drama. Walker - soon to be seen in Last Tango In Halifax - will play a woman who is suspected of brutally murdering her estranged mother. The actress is best known for playing Ruth Evershed on spy drama [Spooks] and has also appeared in Touching Evil, Jonathan Creek, The Last Train, Torn and, more recently, Being Human, New Tricks and Luther. Bennett - best known for her theatre work in Hairspray and End of the Rainbow - will play Sharon, the mother of Jones's character Rachel Bailey. The new character is said to bring 'a whirlwind of chaos, upset and embarrassment' into the lives of Rachel and her siblings. Scott & Bailey was officially picked up for a third series in August, with the new episodes set eight months on from series two's climax. The second series of Scott & Bailey - written and co-created by Sally Wainwright - concluded in April on ITV, attracting 6.44 million viewers.

The X Factor judges reacted angrily to the result of this week's public vote. Sunday night's show saw favourites Ella Henderson and James Arthur in the bottom two. Henderson was eliminated after the judges failed to reach a majority verdict and sent the result to Deadlock. When asked for their decision after Henderson and Arthur performed in this week's sing-off, all of the judges expressed their 'shock' and discombobulation at the result. Tulisa Contostavlos, mentor of the eliminated Henderson, was especially angry with the result of the public vote. Ooo, pure dead vexed, so she was. She said: 'Can I just say this is exactly what I was talking about, when I said people are voting for the wrong people.' She continued to say that the public are 'not voting for the person they want to save' and are assuming that their favourite act is safe in the competition. Well, that's what you get for giving the public a say in matters. It's called democracy, love, I'd get used to it because it's going anywhere. She voted to send home James Arthur but added: 'I should not have had to make that decision tonight, not at all in the slightest.' Nicole Scherzinger described Henderson and Arthur as 'two of the most talented acts to grace the stage.' She also revealed that she thought the result was 'a great tragedy for the show.' Louis Walsh admitted he was 'taken aback' by the public's decision. 'I'm in shock - I thought these were two finalists,' he said. After Walsh and Contostavlos had sent home Arthur and Scherzinger had voted to send home Ella Henderson, the decision was left with Gary Barlow. He began by saying that it was time that things 'got serious' on the show and reminded people that it was a singing competition. He reminded the public: 'People at home, we are voting for the best singers.' Barlow also said that the show needed to focus on 'vocals' over 'staging' as the show enters the quarter-final stage next week. Well, that's certainly one way for a series currently losing viewers to retain the ones they got; by calling them idiots. Jolly well done, there.

Lord McAlpine will seek 'a larger payout' from ITV than the one hundred and eighty five grand of tax payers money he received in a settlement with the BBC, his lawyers have confirmed. They contacted ITV after presenter Phillip Schofield handed the prime minister a list of people rumoured on the Internet to be child abusers live on This Morning on 8 November. ITV said 'disciplinary action' had been taken following the incident though they've constantly refused to say what this entailed. The BBC settled with Lord McAlpine over a Newsnight report which - almost not naming the peer - led to him being wrongly accused of child abuse by various people on Twitter and elsewhere. The damages, agreed within a fortnight of the broadcast, totalled one hundred and eighty five thousand smackers plus costs. Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into the incident on ITV's This Morning. An ITV spokesman said: 'We have received correspondence from Lord McAlpine's representatives and we will be responding in due course.' ITV are the first of a number of organisations and individuals to face legal action after Lord McAlpine was wrongly linked to the child abuse saga. These include a large number of Twitter users who made - or, in some cases, repeated - false claims. The Newsnight broadcast on 2 November was about historical allegations of child abuse at care homes in North Wales. Former Tory party treasurer Lord McAlpine was not named in the broadcast but he was incorrectly linked to the claims on the Internet. An inquiry by BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie concluded that Newsnight had failed to complete 'basic journalistic checks.' Like, for instance, telling McAlpine the allegations that had been made against him and asking for his reaction. If they'd done that, it might have saved them a lot of time and trouble. McAlpine said after settling his claim with the BBC: 'I have been conscious that any settlement will be paid by the licence fee-payers, and have taken that into account in reaching agreement with the BBC. We will now be continuing to seek settlements from other organisations that have published defamatory remarks and individuals who have used Twitter to defame me.' His solicitor, Andrew Reid, singled out This Morning's Schofield for particular criticism, after Schofield warned a rather annoyed-looking David Cameron that there could have been a 'paedophile ring among the elite of Great Britain that led all the way to Downing Street.' Live on air, Schofield then handed over a list of names of senior Tories who were, he said, the subject of child abuse allegations on the Internet. 'Phillip Schofield managed to embarrass the prime minister as a side part and then destroy my client's reputation,' Reid told BBC Radio 4 last week. 'What he did was very, very low and I am amazed it was allowed. It sent everyone on to the Internet to see who being referred to. At the top of the list was Lord McAlpine.' Schofield later apologised for the incident, and insisted that he was not taking part in 'any kind of witch hunt.' Astonishingly, however, he seems to have completely misunderstood what was being complained about: 'Unfortunately there may have been a misjudged camera angle for a split second as I showed the prime minister some information I had obtained from the Internet,' he said, seemingly unaware that it was his making up Ze List in the first place, rather than whether anyone could see what it contained which was the issue at the heart of this. 'I asked for his reaction to give him the opportunity to make a point which he very clearly made about the dangers of any witch hunt.' ITV's director of television Peter Fincham stated that he had 'spoken' to Schofield, who is said to be 'under no illusions that this was a lapse in ITV journalism; this is something we shouldn't have done.' Which, when all is said and done, is normally what happens when you give a light entertainment - former children's - TV presenter a journalists job to do.

Full marks should be given to ITV news reporter Lucy Manning, who, after making her name by doorstepping various BBC executives to get answers about the Savile fallout and their resignation plans, was compelled to do the same to her own boss, Peter Fincham, when the network reprimanded the This Morning team. In a pleasing twist, the boss harasser had earlier tweeted: 'ITV not putting anyone up for interview. A shame as now I need to wait outside their offices in cold even longer in hope of finding someone.' (Before you start feeling too sorry for Lucy, remember, their offices, in London's Grays Inn Road, are in fact also hers.) ITN colleagues must now be fearful that they too can't escape a Manning stalking.

Jeremy Paxman has confirmed that he will return to the BBC's Newsnight this week despite rumours - irony of ironies, on the Internet - that he had become 'deeply disillusioned' with the long-running programme. It was reported at the weekend that Paxo was ready to quit Newsnight after twenty three years on the show, after it wrongly linked a 'senior Conservative politician' with child abuse allegations. But Paxman, who has been away in the US filming a documentary, said that he would return to the programme. He told the Sunday Torygraph: 'I have been away filming, but I will definitely be there on Wednesday.' Discussing George Entwistle's departure, Paxman said: 'He has been brought low by cowards and incompetents. The real problem here is the BBC's decision, in the wake of The Hutton Inquiry, to play safe by appointing biddable people. They then compounded the problem by enforcing a series of cuts on programme budgets, while bloating the management. That is how you arrive at the current mess on Newsnight.' That's fhgitn' talk, mister. And, frankly, it's about time somebody showed a bit of backbone in this whole fiasco.

Odious Sky News presenter (and drag) Kay Burley will not be investigated by media regulator Ofcom despite more than three hundred complaints over a controversial interview in which she told a volunteer searching for April Jones that the child was not expected to be found alive. Burley was the subject of widespread criticism on Twitter following the interview, with Labour MP Tom Watson (power to the people!) describing her line of questioning as 'insensitive bordering on cruel.' Ofcom received three hundred and nine complaints about the interview, broadcast live on Sky News on 5 October. But the complaints will not be taken further after the regulator reached 'an initial assessment' that the interview did not breach broadcasting regulations and 'did not warrant further investigation.' Burley appeared to be taken by surprise that one of the volunteers she interviewed was not aware of the breaking news that the police were now treating the hunt for the missing five-year-old as a murder investigation. Both women appeared stunned, one of them in tears, and struggled for a coherent response. 'I didn't know that you hadn't heard,' said Burley. 'Let me tell you what we've heard from the police. It's now become a murder investigation. They have spoken to the family, they don't expect to find her alive. I'm sorry to have to tell you in circumstances like this. Would you like to say anything?' Burley later asked: 'What do you think will happen now? How are you feeling?' A Sky News spokesman said at the time of the interview that it was clear from the full interview that 'Kay did not start the interview with the intention of breaking the sad development to them' and had tried to 'deal with it as sensitively as possible whilst continuing to offer some comfort to the interviewees.'

Phil Clarke – the head of comedy at Objective Productions – has been appointed the new head of comedy at Channel Four. He will be replacing Shane Allen, who quit earlier this year to join the BBC, from early 2013. Clarke has already been an executive producer for several Channel Four comedy series – including Fresh Meat, Peep Show, Star Stories and Pete Versus Life, which are all made by Objective. Previously, he was editor of comedy for Talkback Productions, overseeing such shows a Bo' Selecta!, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Big Train and Brass Eye. Channel Four's chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: 'Phil has been behind some of the biggest comedy hits on British TV. He is brilliantly creative and will be a strong, thoughtful leader for the Channel Four comedy team.' And Clarke said: 'Channel Four has an outstanding comedy heritage, so I'm honoured and delighted to be joining the creative commissioning team.' Commissioning editor Nerys Evans, who was acting head of the department since Allen quit, is promoted to deputy head of comedy with immediate effect. Objective has a close relationship with Channel Four. The broadcaster's previous head of comedy, Andrew Newman, is now chief executive of the production house.

Curiously clashing signals are emerging from Channel Five, which is now under the day-to-day control of Paul Dunthorne, who combines that role with his old one of running Richard Desmond's various soft-core porn channels, with output including Northern Exposer and Wobbling Whoppers. Yet, reporting to him next year will be incoming director of programmes Ben Frow, a specialist in lifestyle shows who in a previous stint at Five talked to Gruniad Morning Star about being a Buddhist and transforming his office with scented candles. What he will make of blokeish fare such as Ice Road Truckers, The World's Strongest Man and endless action movies is unclear.

Daniel Craig has surprised UK troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan by coming to visit them as they prepared to watch his latest film. Some eight hundred soldiers, sailors and airmen were waiting for a screening of Skyfall when the actor arrived. Craig was given a tour of the camp after a brief introduction of the latest Bond film to the audience. He met soldiers and saw some of the training they undergo before they deploy to forward operating bases. The star was driven around the camp in a Foxhound vehicle by Warrant Officer Class 1 Rob Ingham. 'We get quite a lot of visitors here, but having James Bond was special,' said Ingham. 'He seemed to be pretty comfortable in the driving seat.' At the weapons range Craig was given the chance to fire some of the machine guns used by UK forces. He also met staff and patients at the Camp Bastion hospital. Private Scott Craggs, from Newcastle, a combat medical technician said: 'It was really good morale for everyone - it's a decent thing for him to take time to come out and visit everyone here.' The actor's final stop was a demonstration of the techniques used to search for bombs and he used the detectors himself to search for buried training devices.

Feature film The Angels' Share, actor Gregor Fisher and BBC Scotland's investigations unit have all been honoured at the Scottish BAFTAs. The showbiz awards were held in Glasgow, hosted by Edith Bowman. The Angels' Share picked up the film actor and writer awards, for Paul Brannigan and Paul Laverty. Gregor Fisher won best TV actor for Rab C Nesbitt, while BBC Scotland won the current affairs award for Rangers - The Men Who Sold The Jerseys. That investigation looked at what went on behind the scenes at the financially-stricken Glasgow football club. Brannigan was named best actor for his role in the Ken Loach movie about a group of friends on community service taking a trip to a whisky distillery. He secured the role after speaking to writer Laverty about his time in a young offenders institution, his battle with addiction and community work with Strathclyde Police. Zam Salim picked up two awards on the night for his début feature film Up There, in the best director and best feature film categories. Mrs Brown's Boys won best comedy/entertainment programme, while phone app Bad Hotel was voted best game. The five hundred guests also saw a special video message from Billy Connolly, who was honoured for his outstanding contribution to film and television. Brian Cox, who announced the award for Connolly, said on the red carpet before the event: 'It's a recognition of really quite a prominent industry that's been going on for some time here. It shows what we do and what we do is pretty good really.' Bowman said: 'It's really important to celebrate the wealth and breadth of the talent that comes out of Scotland, whether it be it in film, TV or gaming. And also recognising the people behind the camera who go into making fantastic documentaries or sitcoms.' Jude MacLaverty, director of BAFTA in Scotland, said: 'The British Academy Scotland Awards reflect the sheer breadth of content being generated in Scotland, across film, TV, games and animation, and it's great to see so much talent celebrated tonight. Congratulations to all of our very worthy winners.'

Meanwhile, yer man Billy Connolly says he will never give up stand-up as it's the thrill of live performance which keeps him going. The seventy-year-old is celebrating fifty years as a performer, but says he finds the idea of retirement 'obscene.' Speaking as he picked up an outstanding contribution accolade at the Scottish BAFTAs last night, Connolly told reporters: 'The Chinese says that death seeks the hands that have nothing to do. Stand-up is what I do, it's my job. People say to me, "You've enough money now, you can stop any time." But that's like asking a painter to put down his brushes.' And, he said that quitting comedy would kill him. 'In the shipyards, they would retire guys at sixty five. "Here you are Willie, here's your wallet and watch." Then after a few months you'd hear Willie wasn't very well, then after six months he'd be dead because he had nothing to do.' Connolly will be performing stand-up in New York and San Francisco in January, and appears in the new Hobbit film as Dian Ironfoot.

Stephen Fry has made his official return to the West End stage as Malvolio in an all-male production of Twelfth Night. Critics praised Fry's 'unexpectedly gentle' performance in Shakespeare's comedy. It is Fry's first major stage role for seventeen years. In 1995, Fry walked out during a West End run of Simon Gray's Cell Mates claiming stage fright. He later blamed his departure on his bipolar disorder. Twelfth Night runs alongside Richard III at the Apollo Theatre until February. Both plays started out at Shakespeare's Globe, but critics were not invited to review Fry's performance in Twelfth Night until its West End transfer. 'It's hardly surprising that so much of the coverage has been focused on him - a disproportion that increased when it was decided that there would be no official reviewing of the production's short recent run at the Globe,' noted Paul Taylor in the Independent. 'The irony is that Fry's performance - intelligently pondered, generous to the other actors, and almost studiedly not a "star turn" by a celebrity guest artiste - is exactly the opposite in tendency. It restores balance to a play in which Malvolio's scenes can hog the limelight.' In the Gruniad Morning Star, Michael Billington observed: 'The big draw is Stephen Fry's Malvolio, and he acquits himself extremely well. He is suitably grave, dignified and overbearing.' Meanwhile, Alexandra Coghlan from The Arts Desk said: 'Fry's Malvolio is unexpectedly gentle, a supporting rather than scene-stealing comedic turn that seeks out the humanity in this well-intentioned pedant.' Mark Rylance takes on the title role in Richard III and reprises the role of Olivia that he played in the Globe's 2002 production of Twelfth Night. Both productions are directed by Tim Carroll.

Martin Clunes has been dropped from a car insurance campaign after a court banned him from driving. The Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin actor had appeared alongside a nodding dog in advertisements for Churchill's Insurance since December last year. But it is understood that he was considered 'inappropriate' for car insurance advertising after totting up twelve points on his licence for speeding offences. Oh, yes. Clunes is the latest face to be dropped by Churchill Insurance. Comedian Vic Reeves featured as the voice of the Churchill dog for five years until 2005, when he was charged with drink-driving. According to Marketing Magazine, a spokesman for Churchill said: 'Martin Clunes recently informed Churchill Insurance that his driving licence has been suspended after he accumulated penalty points for four speeding offences. Churchill Insurance currently has no adverts with Martin Clunes on air and will be moving forward with new advertising in the New Year.' The magazine reported that spokesman would not reveal who would feature in any future campaigns. Clunes, who lives with his family in Dorset, became the face of Churchill after the company used several different celebrities, including Rolf Harris, Roy Walker, Melanie Sykes and Ricky Hatton.

Lewis Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix on Sunday after a tight battle with Sebastian Vettel as Fernando Alonso kept the title fight alive. Hamilton's McLaren tracked Vettel's Red Bull throughout the race and finally passed him with fourteen laps to go. Alonso's third place means he is thirteen points behind Vettel in the standings. The title will now be settled in the final race of the season in Brazil next weekend, with twenty five points available for victory. In Brazil, Alonso needs win with Vettel lower than fourth place. Second for Alonso means Vettel must be below seventh; third for Alonso needs Vettel to finish lower than ninth. The result in Austin, means Red Bull have won the constructors' championship. 'To be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian is definitely a tough challenge but we managed to do it,' said Hamilton. 'We weren't so bad in the first stint but weren't able to get past and in trying to do so my tyres went off. He came out ahead and the traffic worked out quit well. Traffic usually catches me out so I was glad it worked slightly in my favour.' Ferrari's Felipe Massa held off Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Jenson Button to take fourth. The Brazilian fought his way up from eleventh place after Ferrari gave him a deliberate five-place penalty in order to help team-mate Alonso. By starting the race from seventh on the grid, rather than eighth, Alonso would be on the cleaner side of circuit, where there is significantly more grip. Alonso made good use of the strategy, making a superb start to climb into fourth place by the time the field had rounded the first corner. Ahead of him, Red Bull's Mark Webber had passed Hamilton to take second as Vettel converted pole into a lead. The German, though, was unable to pull his usual gap on his pursuers and Hamilton chased him throughout the first stint. Vettel eked out a three-second lead by the time of their only pit stops, but after them Hamilton closed in again. The Briton spent several laps within a second of Vettel but not quite close enough to pass before taking advantage of the leader being held up by an HRT to pass him down the straight into turn twelve on lap forty two. Vettel stayed within two seconds of the McLaren right until the end of the race, but was never close enough to attempt a pass. 'I wasn't too happy to send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I had to go through [Narain] Karthikeyan,' said Vettel. '[Lewis] was right behind in the DRS zone. He took that opportunity, fair enough, down the straight and he passed me. I tried to defend but I knew he would have so much more speed. I was obviously not too happy. Lewis had one chance and he took it. After that I tried to stay with him but there wasn't much between us.' Alonso was promoted to third place when Webber retired with an alternator failure on lap seventeen. The Spaniard looked like he might face a challenge from Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen, but a slow pit stop meant the Finn rejoined just behind the Ferrari, which then pulled away. 'We know that our championship keep alive maybe thanks to the first laps,' said Alonso. 'We are always qualifying around seventh or eighth and we finish the first lap in first three or four positions, and after that the race becomes easier. Today we knew there was a good chance, try to overtake people in the first corner. If we are in the leading group we can always keep the pace. Today was not possible to keep the pace with these two guys. This podium is like a victory for us.' Raikkonen, much slower on the 'hard' tyres the leaders had to use in the second stint, dropped back and slipped behind Massa and Button to finish sixth ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean. Button drove a strong race to climb up from twelfth on the grid, using a reverse strategy from the leaders. He started on the 'hard' tyre and ran a long first stint, by the end of which he was up to third place. His stop on lap thirty six dropped him back behind Grosjean, but he managed to pass both of the Lotus cars before the end. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth, holding off Pastor Maldonado, who won a private battle with Williams team-mate Bruno Senna to take ninth ahead of the Brazilian.

A gun store has stated that it will refuse to sell to anyone who voted for Barack Obama at this year's presidential election. The Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Arizona posted the warning in an newspaper advertisement. The notice in the White Mountain Independent read: 'If you voted for Barack Obama, your business is NOT WELCOME at the Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.' Owner, Cope Reynolds, who sounds like a right laugh, revealed to The Huffington Post: 'It is about the direction that this country is going and the direction it's been going for the last four years. If someone really believes that this country can get any stronger and do any better under the leadership of Barack Obama, then I don't feel like they're responsible enough to own a gun.' What's even more worrying, I guess, is that someone who voted for Mitt Romney is allowed to own a gun shop. Terrifying, I call it.
Which brings us, rather nicely. to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day. Bang bang, shoot shoot. Hey, yer actual Keith Telly Topping doesn't just throw these things together, you know?

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