Monday, November 12, 2012

These Sounds Fall Into My Mind

We start the week with an effing massive TV ratings round-up, dear blog reader, since yer actual Keith Telly Topping knows how much you all love them stats. As, briefly, mentioned in Sunday's blog update, yer actual Strictly Come Dancing peaked with a gigantic 11.4 million viewing punters, commanding nearly half the available audience in the last five minutes of its Saturday show. The BBC1 pro-celebrity ballroom dancing competition, which has hovered just below the ten million mark for the last month, averaged a huge 10.35m and a 42.6 per cent audience share between 6.30pm and 8pm - a series high so far. Strictly, which added four hundred thousand additional viewers compared to last week, beat The X Factor by a margin of two million punters - the sixth consecutive week that it has achieved a higher average Saturday night audience than the ITV behemoth. However, the singing contest slightly narrowed the gap between itself and its talent show rival, being watched by 8.31m in its later slot from 8pm. It added a further two hundred and ninety six thousand viewers on ITV+1. Merlin pulled in a consistent and creditable 5.45m for BBC1 at 8pm for the adventure drama's latest episode, The Dark Tower. Pointless Celebrities appealed to 4.88m at the early slot of 5.45pm, wiping the floor with ITV's new Robert Webb fronted clip show The Golden Rules of TV, which had a piss-poor audience of just 1.51m. You've Been Framed followed with a mere 2.62m at 6.30pm, before odious risible Take Me Out slouched its way to 2.92m from 7pm. Now, perhaps, we can all understand why Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads was reported to be so desperately keen for ITV to keep Harry Hill. Since TV Burp ended last year, ITV have really struggled to find an even half-way decent lead-in show for The X Factor. As a tribute to the late Clive Dunn, a classic Dad's Army episode centred around his popular character Corporal Jones attracted 1.95m to BBC2 at 8.30pm. Overall, BBC1 topped primetime with 27.6 per cent of the audience share versus ITV's 22.6 per cent.

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) entered its twelfth series with a massive audience of over ten million viewers on Sunday night. Albeit, that was nowhere near the sixteen million punters figure that Nadine Dorries has been bandying about as apparent justification for her decision to abandon her constituents and go live in the jungle for up to a month (voters permission pending). The launch show averaged 10.26m for ITV between 9pm and 10.30pm. For the first time since 2006, it appears as though 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) will finish above The X Factor in ITV's most-watched broadcasts of the week, as the network's singing contest could only manage 8.88m in the 8pm hour. 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) couldn't match the series' 2011 premiere figure of eleven and a half million, although the audience is much higher than the 2010 opener. Strictly Come Dancing - which culminated in Fern Britton's departure - was the most watched show of the night with an overnight audience of 10.58m at 7.30pm, setting a new series high and beating The X Factor's Sunday results show. Holly Willoughby's Surprise, Surprise held a solid with 4.08m in a difficult 7pm hour that BBC1 dominated with Countryfile, which averaged 7.34m, as well as Strictly. The real 'surprise' that Holly should be investigating is how her mate Phillip Schofield still has a job after last week's shenanigans. Antiques Roadshow (6.17m) managed an even more impressive feat up against The X Factor, after which Andrew Marr's History of the World bowed out with a high of 3.38m. What a pity it wasn't getting that sort of audience for its previous episodes. Elsewhere in the 9pm slot, Channel Four's Homeland also recorded its best second season audience with 2.11m, clinching another fairly comfortable win over BBC2's Dragons' Den which had 1.52m. During the two channel's 10pm comedy battle, Harry & Paul came out on top, albeit with just eight hundred and fifty eighty thousand punters over Friday Night Dinner. The Channel Four sitcom has been struggling since its move to Sunday, with the latest episode drawing just five hundred and twenty thousand viewers.

BBC1's Friday night sitcom Me and Mrs Jones is still struggling to pick up viewers, overnight audience data suggests. The - allegedly - romantic comedy, featuring Men Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey, could only manage 2.42 million punters in its 9.30pm slot. The BBC2 documentary Natural World overtook BBC1 between 9.30pm and 10pm as a result, averaging 2.62m in its full one-hour slot. Have I Got News For You had nearly double the audience of Me and Mrs Jones from 9pm until 9.30pm, as Damian Lewis's night in the host's seat drew 4.72m. Meanwhile, a 'celebrity' edition of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? (or, in other words, an episode featuring lots of people you've never heard of) interested 3.26m on ITV. Channel Four's third part of Derren Brown's Apocalypse attracted 1.46m and an additional 257k on timeshift, while Alan Carr: Chatty Man entertained 1.38m from 10pm. Elsewhere, Qi pulled in a decent 2.69m for BBC2 at 10pm, while 3.8m watched The Graham Norton Show on BBC1 from 10.35pm.

Yer actual David Tennant his very self made his Star Wars debut this weekend in a The Clone Wars episode A Test of Strength, providing the voice of droid Huyang. Supervising director Dave Filoni said: 'When I heard The Doctor himself, David Tennant, was a fan of Star Wars I knew I had to find a way to get in contact with him to see if he would perform on The Clone Wars. The result was Huyang, an ancient droid in the service of the Jedi Order, whose sole task in life has been overseeing the construction of lightsabers. I thought David was perfect for the part and he did not disappoint. He delivered a performance which impressed even the Master himself, George Lucas.'

Former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan has been talking about her new life in the USA: 'I'm looking forward to embracing the culture. It's completely alien. There's loads of vegans but I won't turn vegan. I'm too Scottish. I love haggis. I loved Alabama because it reminds me of my home town.' Blimey. 'There is no one there and there is a lot of fried food. My guilty pleasure is Mars bars put in the deep fat fryer.' Mind you, these - alleged - quotes come from the Daily Record so, you know, pinch of salt and all that.
Downing Street does not believe that the BBC is facing 'an existential crisis' following the resignation of the director general George Entwistle. The prime minister, according to 'sources', believes the corporation must sort its own problems out and does not want the government to get involved, sources say. Labour leader Ed Milibmolimandi said the BBC needed 'to sort out its problems.' Well, thanks for that gem of helpful advice, Ed. Got any more pearls of wisdom to share with us? Isn't it interesting to note the way that MPs have called for the BBC to act quickly to restore 'the public’s trust' in the organisation despite opinion polls suggesting that the public trust the vast majority of MPs far less than the distance they are able to throw them. Had any good expenses scandals or been brown-tonguing billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch any time lately, you guys? Entwistle quit after a Newsnight report led to a former Tory treasurer being wrongly accused of child abuse by 'some people on the Internet.' BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has said a 'thorough, radical, structural overhaul' of the corporation is needed. He said a new director general would be appointed within weeks. Downing Street says that although Cameron believes the current situation is 'very difficult, very serious,' the corporation has been through serious crises before and survived. Alleged 'sources' allegedly say the prime minister believes the BBC is 'one of the great institutions of this country' - which it is - and that it has the capacity to reform itself and to address failings. Cameron - say his aides - believes the BBC needs to 'show grip' and that Lord Patten 'has started to make the right noises.' 'We are not going to make a whole series of pronouncements,' said one alleged Downing Street 'source' allegedly. 'That would not be appropriate and would compromise the editorial independence of the BBC. The key word for us is "grip" - the BBC needs to show grip.' Labour's deputy leader Mad Hattie Harman also warned against compromising the corporation's editorial independence and said a period of 'stability' and 'rebuilding' at the BBC was needed. Which it will only achieve if people the likes of you just butted out and leave it alone to get on with the job, Hattie. 'One of the things the government must resist, is we must not allow the next victim of this debacle to be the independence of the BBC,' she told Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics. She added: 'We don't want politicians or parliamentarians, however well motivated, to start micro-managing this. It's dangerous for us to be doing that.' Labour former lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Bradshaw, an ex-BBC correspondent and full time gobshite, said: 'Given that in my view George Entwistle - who was a good man, a decent man trying to do his best, only a few weeks in the job - was grossly, grossly let down by people beneath him, and I don't think supported enough by people in the Trust, I think it cannot end here.' So, Harriet, that would be a senior member of your own party trying to micro-manage this, it would appear. Entwistle had faced mounting criticism of his response to the programme in an interview with John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in which Humphrys filleted him and served him on a plate of chips. Entwistle was criticised for not knowing about the programme at the centre of the row until after it screened and for not being aware of a newspaper article which revealed the mistaken identity, and for not knowing about a - rather crowing - tweet from Iain Overton of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism claiming that Newsnight was poised to broadcast the revelations. Lord Patten said the BBC had to ensure programmes were being properly managed. He added that talks about the next director general would begin on Sunday, but in the meantime the acting director general, Tim Davie, would be 'given full support.' Before his departure, Entwistle had commissioned a report from BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie into what happened with the Newsnight investigation. A 'thorough, radical, structural overhaul' of the BBC is necessary Patten said. Patten, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that his own job was to show licence fee-payers 'that the BBC has a grip, that we get ourselves back on the road.'

An effective Night of the Long Knives in BBC News appears to have begun already. Director of news Helen Boaden and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, have been asked to 'step aside' pending the outcome of an internal review into the handling of the whole sorry affair. It follows Ken McQuarrie's report into Newsnight's broadcast, which said the BBC must resolve 'a lack of clarity' in the chain of command. The BBC said that neither Boaden nor Mitchell 'had anything at all to do with the failed Newsnight investigation into Lord McAlpine.' However, they were in the chain of command at the time that Newsnight shelved an earlier investigation into abuse claims against former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile. Fran Unsworth, the BBC's head of newsgathering, has been appointed acting director of BBC News as the corporation looks to clean house following the Newsnight controversies.

After his brother, Jonathan, was busy being seen as a lone voice defending the defending the BBC last week, David Dimbleby has said that he cannot understand why George Entwistle resigned. The current affairs presenter was asked by Entwistle's execution John Humphrys on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday morning if the current crisis was 'the worst' in the BBC's history. 'No, I think that's hyperbole,' Dimbleby said. 'I think that's unnecessary. I think what it is is one of the greatest internal crises in the BBC. But the standing of the BBC - I go round the country every week to different places and wherever I go people speak with pride and gratitude for what the BBC does. I think the work that's done by the BBC is unquestioned. It's the greatest broadcasting organisation in the world and it remains that. What it has is a crisis of management of its own making.' He added: 'I think only by this one absurd broadcast by Newsnight implying that Lord McAlpine was involved in the North Wales affair. I think we'll wait to see what happened with the Jimmy Savile inquiry because that's more complicated. That's a decision not to run with a story that maybe they felt they hadn't got enough evidence for. This recent thing on Newsnight is absurd. I think it's been blown up. I can't understand why the director general resigned.' Dimbles continued: 'I don't know George well, but he's a clever man, a courteous man. The fact he chose to resign rather than fight showed that he wasn't actually the right choice for director general - admirable man though he might be. The fact that he didn't fight back against you on Saturday shows that he wasn't the right man to lead the BBC.' The sound of ice forming on the upper reaches of John Humphrys could be head by listeners across the land. 'If you're going to be the director general you've got to fight for the organisation and you've got to fight for the many people who work for it who you and I know are often underpaid, hard-pressed and baffled and confused by the management above them.' Dimbleby added that Lord Patten should 'certainly not' resign as chairman of the BBC Trust but added that he 'should reflect on why he chose George' for the director general job. He suggested that Patten should also not 'rush in to choose a new director general within two or three weeks, which seems to be the plan at the moment.'

Meanwhile, victims of child abuse may feel too threatened to speak out for fear of being attacked by the media as part of a 'sensationalist witch-hunt,' a former children's minister has warned. Tim Loughton, the Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said that he worried victims would fear they would be 'taken out to dry' by the media in the scramble to name public figures as paedophiles. I think that should've been 'hung out to dry' or 'taken to the woodshed' Tim, bit of a mixed metaphor there, but we all, hopefully, get your drift. 'We're forgetting that this whole issue is not about the management of the BBC, it's not about the Leveson inquiry, and it's not about celebrities or politicians. It's about the fact that a lot of children have been abused over many years and many of them have never had their stories believed or investigated,' Loughton said. 'The media has made it into a sensationalist witch-hunt rather than focusing on what are horrific levels abuse over many, many years.' Loughton's comments came after the former Conservative minister the vile and odious alleged toe-sucker David Mellor described Steve Messham, the child abuse victim at the heart of the scandal at the BBC, as 'a weirdo.' Which, coming from Mellor some might regard as a case of a pot-kettle-and-black type situation. The odious Mellor said on the BBC's Sunday Politics show that it was 'simply ludicrous' Newsnight had relied on Messham, who apologised on Friday after mistakenly identifying Lord McAlpine as his attacker at a North Wales care home in the 1970s. Mellor was referring to a - particularly noxious - Scum Mail on Sunday hatchet job which - vilely - raised questions over Messham's credibility as a witness at a trial almost twenty years ago. Asked about Mellor's comments and the Scum Mail on Sunday report, Loughton said: 'It's really unhelpful. If it means that genuine victims who have been bashed into silence for years are now going to think: "Forget it, I'm not going to stick my head above the parapet because I'm going to get taken out to dry by the media," then that's a real downside to what's been happening. That's the tragedy in all of this.' Mellor's comments were described by the former Tory MP Louise Mensch as 'utterly abominable and repellent.' Placing this blogger in a very award situation since this is the first time in recorded history that he has, actually, agreed with something (anything) old Bagashite has had to say for herself. The NSPCC also raised concerns that abuse victims would be put off from coming forward because of fears about not being believed. Mellor said: 'I don't see how Newsnight as a brand can survive this. The thing about McAlpine was that it was so grotesque, they rely on a man who the Mail on Sunday over two pages reveals that this man is a weirdo.' Yes. But the Scum Mail on Sunday was also a big fan - at various times - of Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley and Margaret Thatcher so, you know, what does that say about their credibility? On pretty much anything. 'He's already cost £1.5m costs when he accused a policeman of sexually abusing him, and why didn't they show a photograph? It's extraordinary. The idea of Alastair McAlpine being involved in child abuse is simply ludicrous and someone on Newsnight should have had the sophistication to realise that.' Says David Mellor. Right. Next. John Cameron, the head of child protection operations at the NSPCC, said the child abuse saga was in danger of becoming a trial by media and described Mellor's comments on Messham as unhelpful. 'I'd like anybody who has to make adverse criticism of someone who is saying they have been a victim of abuse to think very carefully about how that is helpful, both to that individual and to those who have been victims of abuse and who will want to come forward,' he said. 'There are children out there today who are suffering abuse and people need to reflect very strongly on any commentary about victims and how that could prevent people coming forward.' The child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas, whose ITV Exposure documentary on Jimmy Savile kick-started the unravelling of the entire child abuse scandal, said Mellor's attack on Messham was 'appalling. Steve has been the centre of this recent situation at the BBC, so the BBC, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and anyone who has had direct contact with him owe it to him to give him proper support and care,' Williams-Thomas said. 'If that is not happening that is an absolute disgrace. Abuse victims are not pawns in someone else's games.' He said that care needed to be taken when working with abuse victims, some of whom would be attempting to reconstruct traumatic events that happened thirty or forty years ago. 'Great care needs to be taken and ultimately it takes many, many months to tell their story in the right way. This isn't something you can do in five days.' Messham has described how he suffered sexual abuse, including rape, by dozens of attackers at care homes in the 1970s. Earlier on Sunday, Loughton urged the public not to forget that this was ultimately a scandal about 'horrific' experiences of child abuse. 'Underlying all of this we mustn't forget that vulnerable children, young people, going back many decades have been subject to pretty horrific abuse,' he told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme.

BBC News has reported that a former BBC producer has been arrested in connection with the inquiry into abuse claims made against Jimmy Savile. Wilfred De'Ath, who is in his seventies, was held in Cambridgeshire at 07:15 on Sunday morning. He is no relation - it is important to point out - to Sir Wilfred Death, the fictional character played by the late, great John Hallam in The Black Seal episode of The Black Adder who was told to 'prepare to be swung by your coddlings from the bows of that tree' in an effort to end his tyrannical tyranny. Oh, no. Completely different person, just in case there's any potential case of mistaken identity which is likely to occur. Very hot water. Anyway, having established that, a Met Police spokesman did not confirm the name of the arrested person but said that a man was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences and taken into police custody locally, before being bailed until December. The spokesman added the man was held as part of the Operation Yewtree probe into claims Savile - and, potentially, others - sexually abused young people. Police believe the former BBC TV presenter and DJ, who died last year aged eight four, could have abused as many as three hundred people over a forty-year period. De'Ath once produced one of Savile's radio show. Neighbours at his flat in Cambridge said that detectives removed bags from the property. A number of individuals are being investigated as part of the operation. These include people who allegedly carried out abuse with Savile as well as others who are suspected of abusing independently of Savile. The Met said the latest arrest 'falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed others.'

David Morrissey recently appeared on The Craig Ferguson Show in the US to promote his appearance in The Walking Dead. Spotting the TARDIS miniature which is a regular fixture on the Scottish chat show host's desk Mozza went on to briefly reminisce about his appearance in the classic Doctor Who 2009 Christmas special The Next Doctor: 'After we'd finished filming it, David Tennant announced that he was going to leave, so Russell Davies said "do you mind if we spin the story about you maybe being the next Doctor?" I said no and he said "you can't tell anyone that you're not going to be the next Doctor!" I said sure but I can tell my kids and he went "NO!" - so for six or seven months my kids were going "are you going to be Doctor Who?" and I'd say "do your homework and I might tell you!"'
Five Harvard University students have sent the first hamburger into space. Because, seemingly, these clowns haven't got anything more worthwhile to do with their time. The group of friends attached a GPS tracking device and a camera to the snack, before tethering it to a six hundred gramme weather balloon filled with helium. The students then covered the burger with lacquer - to try to improve its chances of withstanding the trip into the outer reaches of the earth's atmosphere - before launching it on 27 October in Sturbridge. According to the Daily Torygraph, the burger reached a maximum altitude of ninety eight thousand feet before the balloon burst and sent its cargo plummeting back to the ground. Using GPS, the students managed to trace the burger and equipment back to a tree located one hundred and thirty miles north of Boston. Whether the burger was then eaten, in triumph, we just don't know.

And so, dear blog readers, to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's a bit of The Buckehtheads.
And, here's a lot more of them.

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