Sunday, November 04, 2012

Week Forty Six: Shadow Love Was Quick And Clean, Life's A Well-Thumbed Machine

Have I Got News For You won the Friday night ratings battle over a documentary about Jonathan and Charlotte. Whoever they are. The BBC's popular, long-running topical news quiz - now into its twenty second year of scaring those in the news and this week featuring yer actual Jeremy Clarkson in the host's seat - attracted 5.05m overnight viewers for its half-hour edition at 9pm on BBC1. Compared to that, 3.85m viewers watched the Jonathan and Charlotte programme on ITV at the same time, which followed the Britain's Got Talent contestants on a tour to learn from Europe's opera masters. Are they the woman and her dog or is that someone else yer actual Keith Telly Topping is thinking about? Channel Four's Derren Brown: Apocalypse Part Two was watched by 2.12m viewers, a modest fall for the network in the 9pm timeslot. Meanwhile, BBC2's Newsnight gained just under two per cent of the audience, with eight hundred and thirty thousand punters between 10.30pm and 11pm.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, for the fifth consecutive week in a row Strictly Come Dancing gave The X Factor a damned good pants-down hiding. And, the gap between the two shows appears to be growing. The BBC1's pro-celebrity dance competition had an average overnight audience of 9.96 million viewers (a forty three per cent share of the available audience) with a peak of 10.5 million just before the end of the episode in the 6.30pm to 8.15pm slot. By contrast, The X Factor's once massive audience seems to be bailing out at an increasing - and, for ITV worrying - rate. The latest episode of the talent contest averaging a mere 7.6 million punters on ITV (I say 'a mere', but that's the lowest overnight audience for an episode of The X Factor in about five years) with a peak of 8.09 million between 8.20pm and 10pm. For all those number-crunchers out there, Strictly is up around two hundred thousand viewers on last week, The X Factor down eight hundred thousand. The X Factor is also down a staggering 4.6 million viewers on the equivalent episode from the series two years ago, and around two million down on the equivalent episode from last year. I mean, let's get this into some perspective, seven and a half million is still a magnificent overnight audience for any TV show in this multichannel, timeshift age. But, it's really hard not to view it as something of a disaster for ITV considering the audiences the show was pulling in as recently as recently. Merlin continued to benefit from its Strictly lead-in with an overnight of 5.26m, while Pointless preceded the dance competition with a strong 4.65m between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Overall, BBC1 won primetime with 27.9 per cent ahead of ITV's 20.1 per cent of the audience share, the BBC's biggest Saturday night win on a week when an episode of The X Factor was broadcast in at least five years. And, if ITV aren't worried about that, they should be.

Colin Salmon has suggested that Strictly's 'sheer entertainment factor' is the secret of its current success. The James Bond actor, who is partnering Kristina Rihanoff in the BBC1 show, told Metro that beating The X Factor in the ratings was 'the cherry on the cake' when it came to being a part of the Strictly team. 'It's fantastic that Strictly is beating The X Factor for many reasons,' the actor said. 'But one of the main reasons is I think it's a fantastic piece of variety television,' Salmon added. 'It is live, varied TV whereby we are really hanging ourselves out by the seam of our pants. I love the fact that we have live musicians, I love the fact the camera work is phenomenal, the design, the costumes, the children are loving all of the dressing up. It's just proper family television and it's a very positive thing to be a part of. I'm really, really enjoying myself.'

Coronation Street producers have denied scum tabloid claims that 'up to ten characters' are 'facing the axe' from the soap. A report in the ever reliable Sun on Saturday alleged that a string of cast departures are 'already being planned' by the show's new producer, Stuart Blackburn, who takes over from current boss Phil Collinson in January. Karl Munro (John Michie), Marcus Dent (Charlie Condou), Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston), Rob Donovan (Marc Baylis) and newcomer Mandy Kamara (Pamela Nomvete) are among those whom the Sun tipped as supposedly on Blackburn's 'hit list.' However, a Coronation Street spokesperson told the Digital Spy website: 'No such discussions have been had. The new producer would not even start discussing future storylines until he starts in January 2013.' Blackburn, who has been working as Emmerdale's series producer since early 2011, was announced as Collinson's successor last month. Collinson will remain at ITV working on developing new drama.

And, speculation is also growing that EastEnders' Derek Branning, played by Jamie Foreman, will be killed by one of his brothers in a forthcoming storyline. Pictures emerged in several newspapers this week of the cast filming on-location at a church. Although the BBC have yet to confirm that the character is leaving, it now seems likely that the latest Walford bad lad will meet some sort of grizzly end, and pretty soon. Max (Jake Wood), Jack (Scott Maslen) and Cora (Ann Mitchell) were all photographed by tabloids at the church location.

Anyway, as if anyone's in the slightest interested in such nonsense, here's yer next batch of Top Telly Tips:-

Friday 9 November
It's been ten years since Angus Deayton made his hurried - though, inevitable - departure from the Have I Got News For You host's chair - ah, that episode when Christine Hamilton made Angus her bee-atch, I remember it well. Since then, eighty four different bottoms have perched there, including those of MasterChef's Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the only double act to share the job, two knights (Sir Bruce Forsyth and Sir Trevor McDonald, and Roger Moore's set to join them in a few weeks), two OBEs (Joan Collins and Moira Stuart) and one intergalactic space traveller with a real downer on Ilfracombe. In this week's anniversary edition - 9:00 BBC1 - Homeland's Damian Lewis takes the hot seat for the fifth time – obviously hoping to challenge Alexander Armstrong's record of twenty hostings – and, judging by his earlier outings, he'll deliver the scripted lines with the exquisite timing and charm you'd expect from Nicholas Brody. Tonight's guests are The Simpsons' Harry Shearer and on the extreme right of Ian Hislop (and, indeed, the extreme right of pretty much everyone), yer actual Nigel Farage.

Australian TV presenter and comedienne Julia Zemiro makes her debut on Qi - 10:00 BBC2 - joining Sue Perkins, Ross Noble and regular panellist Alan Davies to answer Stephen Fry's fiendishly fiendish questions on the theme of 'jeopardy.' The XL edition will be shown tomorrow at 9:00.

With so many animals facing the same fate as the dodo, David Attenborough is spoilt for choice when he picks ten creatures to take on his imaginary ark and so save them from extinction. However, his top ten will surprise you if you were expecting pandas and tigers to figure. No, not for our Dave. His selection is much more esoteric as you can find out in Attenborough's Ark: Natural World Special - 9:00 BBC2.
Most of us won't have heard about, let alone seen, a solenodon (a nocturnal creature descended from T-Rex which lives in the Dominican Republic) or the olm of Croatia (a blind, worm-like amphibian which lives in total darkness). But whether it's a Darwin frog (with its unusual breeding method), a cute mouse-like northern quoll or a baby Sumatran rhino, Attenborough talks about each of these endangered creatures with passion, wonder and fondness. His exchange with a black lion tamarin monkey is especially enchanting.

Having survived the end of the world last week, yer actual Dazzling Dezza Brown now presents a new two-part experiment in which he claims to remove people's experience of fear through the use of a powerful new drug in Derren Brown: Fear and Faith - 9:00 Channel Four.
Saturday 10 November
Is that snake in the grass Morgana starting to losing her touch in Merlin - 8:05 BBC1? Not a bit of it. To separate Queen Gwen from her protectors, the sorceress conjures up some quite literal snakes in the grass. A little unimaginative from The Evil One, perhaps, but it seems to have the desired effect, leaving Leon and Percival with dark magic coursing through their veins and Gwen in Morgana's naughty clutches. A mortified King Arthur and Gwen's brother Sir Elyan lead a rescue mission that turns into that splendidly enjoyable Merlin staple, the quest episode. But, while Camelot's eight-man armoured division is huffing and puffing through the Impenetrable Forest (why not just go around it, instead, it's much easier), Gwendolyn fears for her very sanity in The Dark Tower where Morgana is keeping her. You notice, nobody ever gets kept in The Arabian Sunburst Tower, or The Peach Tower. Odd, that. Though the quest at times resembles a sinister pantomime ('they're behind you!'), there's nothing amusing about Gwen's nightmarish ordeal, which makes this episode probably the most disturbing yet. We were promised 'darker' for season five — and we've certainly had it so far.

Huw Edwards presents coverage of the The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance - 9:15 BBC1 - from the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Maj the Queen and other members of the royal family. Rod Stewart, Alexandra Burke, Russell Watson, The Overtones, Amore, Jonjo Kerr and The Military Wives Choir perform alongside the Massed Bands of the Household Division, the band of HM Royal Marines, the Queen's Colour Squadron and the RAF Squadronaires. Together they pay tribute to the victims of war and conflict in a festival that also includes the traditional two-minute silence as thousands of poppy petals fall from the venue's ceiling.

Sunday 11 November
Dana pays a visit to the hospital and is shocked by what she finds, while Faber attracts the attention of the CIA when he asks one too many questions about the fate of Tom Walker in the latest Homeland - 9:00 Channel Four. Meanwhile, Brody agrees to work with Carrie and Quinn to stop an attack on America, but his loyalty to the United States is questioned when Gettysburg once again becomes a battleground. Is Nicholas a double agent, or a triple agent, or something altogether more complex entirely? Superior US thriller - 24 with brains, essentially - starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff and Mandy Patinkin.

Fiona Bruce and the experts visit Farnborough in North Hampshire, a key site of aeronautical research in the Twentieth Century, and an ideal place to host this Remembrance Sunday edition of Antiques Roadshow - 8:00 BBC1. Items under scrutiny in this episode include early designs for a flying machine and a letter written in the trenches during the First World War, whose author claims to have witnessed the infamous Christmas football match between British and German troops. Perhaps his evidence can be used to decide whether Captain Blackadder was offside when he scored the winner, or not. The team also hears the poignant story of a sailor lost during the battle with the Bismarck battleship. Red button viewers can play along by guessing the valuations.

The Surgeons return to their youth as members of the Cambridge Footlights and the American Cops get arrested in the sketch show Harry & Paul - 10:00 BBC2. I Saw You Coming owner Marcus finally meets his match, while, in a clever running gag, AK-47s are constantly fired into the air in celebration of good news in Kalashnikov Britain. Like many of the best sketches in the show, it's simple, daft and great fun. The same can be said for this week's When Life Was Simpler sketch, where a 1930s chap decides to get married at the weekend. ('She looks nice, I’ll marry her!' he says equably.) And, it's hard not to love the indecipherable trainer Podraig – another of Paul Whitehouse's brilliant burbling flights of fancy. With Whitehouse, Harry Enfield and Charlie Higson.

Monday 12 November
The next ten chefs tremblingly enter the kitchen, where the terrifying Monica Galetti (and her glacial stare) and big cuddly Gregg Wallace challenge them to make a dish using a selection of seven ingredients - including lentils, goat's cheese and peaches in MasterChef: The Professionals - 8:30 BBC2. They each have just one hour to hold their nerve and demonstrate their creativity to the judges. And, if they get past that challenge, then they go in front of Michel Roux. As they say in the Gospel According to Matthew, judge not, lest ye be judged.

Immediately after that, we have The First Master Chef: Michel Roux on Escoffier - 9:00 BBC4. In which lovely Michel Roux Jr profiles his culinary hero, Georges Auguste Escoffier, who established restaurants in grand hotels around the world, where the most glamorous figures of the day would mingle. As well as taking a look at some of the chef's most delicious dishes, Michel investigates claims that the cook was fired from his job at the Savoy after eight years for wining and dining potential investors in his new business at the hotel's expense. Escoffier is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmets. At the end of the Nineteenth Century the French chef transformed cuisine, elevating it to an art form and turning him into, effectively, the Heston Blumenthal of his day. But, as well as bringing glamour and drama to his food, Escoffier also revolutionised professional kitchen practices, made it acceptable for respectable women to dine in public and gave the world the peach melba (among many other widely respected dishes). Michel says that he owes his whole career to Escoffier and his legacy and so pays homage to him in this satisfying documentary by tracing his path to culinary stardom. Along the way he tastes some of Escoffier's extravagant recipes in various grand restaurants, including the Savoy where in the late 1800s many of his dishes were created. In fact Michel has so many fine dining experiences, you'll end up with a rumbling tummy and a twinge of envy.

There's a celebrity edition of the dangerously addictive Only Connect - 8:30 BBC4 - in honour of Children In Need later in the week. This sees Charlie Higson, Daisy Goodwin and Matthew Parris team up as The Goldfingers to take on The Fowls, consisting of Rosie Boycott, Richard Osman and patented 'intelligent footballer' Clarke Carlisle in another round of the lateral thinking quiz. Presented by the Goddess that is Victoria Coren.
Why did people - and, some of them were pretty sensible people, too, it wasn't all just Daily Scum Mail readers and Germans - fall for Hitler? Looking back from the vantage point of the Twenty First Century, it's easy to see the Nazi leader in full flow as a ranting (albeit, at times, charismatic) madman, clearly absurd - and with one ball. Himmler had two, but they were very small. But, acclaimed Nazi chronicler Laurence Rees wants us to try and understand what contemporaries saw in Old Adolf, how Hitler's rhetoric connected with the subconscious of the German people, appealed to their hurt national pride and - by giving then convenient scapegoats - voiced their fears as told in The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler - 9:00 BBC2. But, Rees also notes how Hitler used little tricks, like staring hard into the eyes of the people he met, to make an impression. There's an extraordinary clip of his first speech as Chancellor, and the endless, theatrical pause he left before he started speaking, while literally millions waited for the word.

Tuesday 13 November
In Dara O Briain's Science Club - 9:00 BBC2 - the comedian and his team of experts take viewers on a journey into the world of theoretical physics. Dara finds out if you can measure the speed of light using cheese on toast (mmm ... cheese on toast), and oceanographer Helen Czerski hunts down Albert Einstein's elusive gravitational waves - which have been mystifying scientists for years. Materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes a fridge apart, guest Marcus Brigstocke attempts to get to grips with dark energy, and some of the biggest brains in science are brought to bear on the eternal problem of tangled headphone wires.

Chateau Chunder: When Australian Wine Changed the World - 9:00 BBC4 - is a jocular, colourful explanation of how Australian wine, in the back half of the Twentieth Century, came from nowhere to dominate the industry. Wine itself coursed past class barriers to become the drink of choice for Britain's lower middle classes, a major contributing factor being the move away from forbidding - and expensive - French vino. The Australians, with their populist flavours and clear grape-variety labelling, were the catalyst. The stereotype of Aussies as unpretentious, bold, sporty and deceptively excellent is in force – although the programme also covers how success attracted acquisitive corporations, who have done their best to sour the story. The documentary examines how winemakers in Australia redefined their industry, turning it into one of the world's leading exponents of making and marketing the beverage. Wine critics including yer actual Oz Clarke and Jancis Robinson reveal that good value, consistent quality and simple classification were key in helping to improve the reputation and popularity of the export.

The Mind Reader: Between Life and Death - 10:35 BBC1 - is a Panorama special following doctors and scientists' revolutionary efforts to help a group of severely brain-injured patients communicate with their families and the outside world. Film-makers have spent more than a year with these people, and the programme includes footage of the moment someone regarded as vegetative for more than a decade is able to answer a series of questions while inside a brain scanner. But as reporter Fergus Walsh states, the findings have profound implications for the patients, their families and the medical staff. Presented by yer actual Fergus Walsh.

Wednesday 14 November
Abi Morgan's highly regarded newsroom drama The Hour returns for a second series - 9:00 BBC2. It's November 1957 and a year has passed since The Hour was unceremoniously taken off air during the controversial interview with Lord Elms in the middle of the Suez Crisis. Much has changed. With the nation's attention focused on a perceived Soviet nuclear threat, Head of News Randall Brown (The Thick of It's Peter Capaldi) decides to shake up the team by bringing Freddie back. Bel wrestles with conflicted feelings at his return, but when Hector brings them an unexpected tip-off on a crime story, the trio find themselves with a potential scoop which could outdo rival programme Uncovered. Starring Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai (and her fantastic bottom) and Dominic West.

Or, you may prefer - if you're strange - ITV's thoroughly rotten coverage of Live International Football which, tonight, sees Sweden play England (kick-off 7.30pm). Coverage of this friendly fixture between the two nations comes from the charmingly named Friends Arena in Stockholm. Hopefully the sides - who last met in a thrilling group-stage encounter at Euro 2012 when goals from Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck helped England to a 3-2 victory will have left their friendliness in the dressing room and will, you know, get stuck in. England come into this encounter off the back of a disappointing, rain-affected, 1-1 draw with Poland in Warsaw, and manager yer actual Roy Hodgson will be looking to get his side back to winning ways before returning to World Cup qualifying duties in March. Presented by odious greed bucket, breakfast TV flop (and drag) Adrian Chiles, with - dreadful - commentary by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend, and lack of anything approaching worthwhile analysis from Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Lee Dixon. Hateful.

Following his shock election victory, prime minister Tom Dawkins launches an inquiry into the toxicology anomalies at the blast in Scarrow in Secret State - 10:00 Channel Four. As British intelligence locates the whereabouts of al-Qaeda chief Tamin al-Ghamdi, the reluctant new PM is pressurised to take him down without asking too many questions. Meanwhile, after her superiors at GCHQ fail to take her findings seriously, Agnes reaches out to the one man she thinks could help. Bad move, Agnes. Political drama, based on the acclaimed novel by Chris Mullins, starring Gabriel Byrne.

Thursday 15 November
Everyday - 9:00 Channel Four - is a much-anticipated drama telling the story of a woman taking her young children to visit their father in prison over a period of five years. Shirley Henderson and John Simm star as the couple, with real-life brothers and sisters Stephanie, Robert, Shaun and Katrina Kirk as the children, who literally grow up throughout the course of the film. Directed by Michael Winterbottom.
It's Jack's first day in the office as editor of the Hebburn Advertiser and he hopes to transform it into a best-selling local paper that really makes a difference, while Vicki (Lisa McGrillis) has her heart broken when her boyfriend Gervaise (Neil Grainger) announces he has big plans in the latest episode of Jason Cook's superb Hebburn. Pauline (the stunning Gina McKee) embarks on a mission to de-stress Joe (Vic Reeves) after his doctor (a tiny cameo from the legend that is Ideal's Alfie Joey) tells him he needs to relax, meaning that he is banned from eating pork pies and cheese and forced to drink peppermint tea. Even on his son's stag night. Tragedy.
Look out, also, for an appearance by another Ideal alumni, the much-lamented BBC3 show's creator Graham Duff. Best family-based sitcom the BBC have made since The Royle Family started. It's that good.

Frank Philips and his posse barge their way into the church to apprehend several Hatfields, for whom he has arrest warrants - and Preacher Garrett's protestations earn him a bloodied lip in the acclaimed Hatfields & McCoys - 10:00 Channel Four. Jim Vance visits the mountain hideout of an ailing Anse, who decides that the only option is to send his men out to lay siege to the McCoy homestead - and kill Randall. Starring Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger and Powers Boothe.

Dave Lee Travis presents a vintage edition of Top of the Pops from 20 October 1977 - 7:30 BBC4 - featuring music by Smokie, The Grand Dame David Bowie her very self, Dorothy Moore, Tina Charles, Queen, Status Quo, La Belle Epoque, David Soul and Roxy Music, and dance routines by Legs & Co.
A repeat, but a jolly welcome one is Heath Versus Wilson: The Ten-Year Duel - 11:00 BBC4 - the story of the personal rivalry between former prime ministers Harold Wilson and Teddy Teeth in the 1960s and 70s. Wilson and Heath were two very different men, and are - in many ways, equally overlooked by history, but they were the political titans of the era in which Britain changed forever. For ten years they faced each other in the House of Commons, and swapped in and out of Number Ten. They fought four general elections (Wilson won three of them), three of which were amongst the closest and most exciting of the century. They were deliciously different personalities and scorned one another, yet they were cast from the same mould. Both promised a white hot revolution of meritocracy and dynamism in the British economy, technology and society in general. Both ultimately failed, but together they presided over a decade that redefined the nation: Britain ceased to be a world power and entered Europe, the postwar consensus in which they both believed was destroyed, the ideas that would create both Thatcherism and New Labour were born. The country they left behind was unrecognisable from the one they had inherited - and the one they had promised. The programme features interviews with their colleagues in the cabinet and government to explore the differences between the two politicians, as well as their similarities. It's not, quite, a Gladstone-Disraeli encounter but in the decade from 1965, Heath led the Tories and had a spell at Number Ten while Wilson was Labour's PM for seven years. This is an engaging and detailed analysis, with top-drawer contributors and lightened by a touch of The Rock 'n' Roll Years.

Friday 16 November
It's a Friday night on the BBC without either Have I Got News For You or Qi - what's going on? An annual charity telethon, of course. Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton return to present another bumper evening of fund-raising, which sees a massive line-up of people singing, dancing or acting plain daft in support of disadvantaged children across the UK in Children In Need - 7:30 till late, BBC1. The fun kicks off with the biggest boy band of the moment as One Direction get the, ahem, party started. There is also a special Doctor Who episode made for Children In Need. Odious horrorshows (and drags) Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant - arguably the worst performers Strictly has ever seen - return to the ballroom for a dance-off. Pudsey Bear then gets to dance with his new namesake - Pudsey the dog, the winner of Britain's Got Talent. Hopefully either will decide to maul the other to death. Because, that would be very wrong. TV presenter and former chorister Aled Jones leads two thousand five hundred children across the UK in a live performance of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and there is a second treat for fans of Doctor Who with a sneak preview of the Christmas special. Girls Aloud reunite on the occasion of their tenth anniversary, and now they perform the official Children In Need single, 'Something New'. Which it isn't. Not even remotely. Tom Daley, Zara Phillips and Ellie Simmonds, aim to prove they are top of the pops in their own fun-filled music video. Olympic flop Rebecca Adlington also appears. Later, viewers are entertained - if that's the right word - by last year's X Factor winners Little Mix, followed by a Top Gear special which sees the BBC newsreaders competing to see who is the fastest in a reasonably priced car. There's also a special edition of The Sarah Millican Television Programme. Lee Mack stars in a Not Going Out special, Leona Lewis performs live and there is a round-up of events around the UK. The question that people have been asking since the Children In Need mascot first appeared in 1985 is finally answered, as Geri Halliwell and Misery Bear reveal what actually happened to Pudsey Bear's missing eye. There's also music by Paloma Faith and Tim Minchin, ahead of the usual crop of highlights from the evening and the announcement of the final total for the night.

In The Review Show - 11:10 BBC2 - Kirsty Wark and guests discuss the cultural highlights of the week, including Paul Thomas Anderson's new film The Master and an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection entitled Death. Sounds unmissable.

David Attenborough reflects on his TV career, charting changes in the natural world and mankind's understanding of the planet as well as developments in wildlife film-making in the second episode of Attenborough: Sixty Years in the Wild - 8:00 BBC2. Tonight, he looks back on the animal encounters that have shaped his career - from the early black-and-white Zoo Quest days to a close encounter with a lion pride in the pitch dark. He also shares a few tricks of the trade, such as how to catch a Komodo dragon and the secret to maintaining continuity in the most difficult circumstances, and recalls the making of landmark series Life on Earth.

The documentary An Island Parish returns - 9:00 BBC2 - this time chronicling life on the tiny island of Sark in the Channel Islands. Shepherd David Scott is being kept busy with lambing - as well as nervously awaiting a new arrival of his own. Newcomer Reverend Gill Nicholls is learning fast about life on the island and she and Methodist lay preacher Karen Le Mouton are planning a pioneering joint Easter service - but how will it be received by traditionalists?

And, so to the news: A protester who hid in a toilet and then emerged to shout abuse at David Cameron has been sentenced to community service. Stuart Rodgers stayed in the toilet for over an hour in order to have the opportunity to heckle the Prime Minister over public sector cuts. A court heard that the twenty three-year-old activist burst into the room of the Glasgow hotel where Cameron was addressing hundreds of Conservatives, and shouted: 'No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts.' Snappy. Rodgers was subsequently 'tackled' (that's a press euphemism for 'given a good kicking') and taken away by Special Branch officers, reports the Scotsman. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Rodger admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by violating a security cordon, shouting and failing to desist, 
attempting to approach Cameron and causing fear and alarm. He was sentenced to one hundred hours of community service, reduced from one hundred and fifty hours because of his guilty plea. Rodgers had previously been fined two hundred smackers for throwing blue paint over deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg when he visited Glasgow earlier this year.
Meanwhile texts between the Cameron and the then-News International chief and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks given to the Leveson Inquiry have been published by the Scum Mail on Sunday. After Cameron's party conference speech in 2009, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks texted: 'Brilliant speech. I cried twice. Will love "working together."' Downing Street confirmed the text messages were authentic and said the PM had 'co-operated' with the Leveson Inquiry. Lord Justice Leveson is due to publish his report into the press this month. Much of his inquiry was taken up with questions about links between politicians and billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's News International media company. In the other text, also sent in 2009, Cameron refers to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks' racehorse trainer husband, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, wrote: 'The horse CB put me on. Fast, unpredictable and hard to control but fun.' The Labour MP Chris Bryant has told the BBC he has written to Lord Justice Leveson asking for all the e-mails and texts between Cameron and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks to be published. Cameron and Brooks live near each other in Oxfordshire and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks's husband went to Eton with the prime minister. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks caused amusement at the Leveson Inquiry earlier this year when she revealed that Cameron signed some of his texts LOL, thinking it meant 'Lots Of Love', rather than 'Laugh Out Loud.' The two messages published by the Scum Mail on Sunday were sent in October 2009, shortly after well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks became chief executive of News International. They were among a number of texts and e-mails handed over to the Leveson Inquiry by Downing Street and Brooks. In her evidence to Lord Leveson, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks said Cameron sent her a text when she resigned in July 2011, telling her to 'keep your head up.' Just the sort of thing a prime minister should be saying to someone currently facing criminal charges of phone-hacking and perverting the course of justice. Charges which, of course, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks denies. She quit - eventually - after the phone-hacking scandal led to the Scum of the World's closure, a paper she was editing when voicemails of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile phone were allegedly intercepted. It also emerged that Cameron rode a police horse, Raisa, which had been loaned to well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks by some of her friends at the Metropolitan Police. Lord Leveson is thought to be going through over a large amount of correspondence between Cameron, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks, and former Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson, who also formerly edited the Scum of the World. But the inquiry's lead counsel Robert Jay QC has said only 'relevant' documents would be published. Bryant has challenged Cameron to publish all the material himself, suggesting it was 'too salacious and embarrassing.' A Downing Street spokesman said the position 'had not changed' in respect of Cameron publishing the correspondence. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks and Coulson are currently awaiting trial accused of conspiracy to access voicemails. Brooks and her husband - along with four other people - are also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. All of the accused deny the charges.

Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel held on to his championship lead despite starting from the pit lane. Raikkonen inherited the lead when Lewis Hamilton's McLaren retired. Vettel fought back up through the field, benefited from a safety car period which wiped out early errors, to finish third behind title rival Fernando Alonso's Ferrari. Alonso has narrowed Vettel's lead to ten points with two races to go. In a nail-biting, incident-packed race that belied the Yas Marina track's sedate reputation, Hamilton initially looked set to take a dominant win. The McLaren driver led away from pole and, apart from a brief scare when he made a mistake while struggling to warm up his tyres in the early laps and had to fight off an attack from Raikkonen, appeared in control. Hamilton was in the region of half a second a lap quicker than Raikkonen behind him when his car ground to a halt on lap twenty of fifty five. The problem was later found to be a fuel-pump failure, continuing a dismal run of reliabilty from McLaren in recent races. That left Raikkonen in the lead, and he appeared in control, edging away from Alonso, who had passed Williams's Pastor Maldonado to take second place on the lap Hamilton retired. 'I'm happy but nothing to jump around about,' said Raikkonen. 'For sure we have a good party today and after a long night we will remember why we feel like that. I hope this can turn around the tables and give us many more wins if not this year then next year.' Meanwhile, Vettel had been working his way through the field after starting from the pit lane following his disqualification from qualifying for not having enough fuel in his car to provide a sample. The German damaged his front wing in a collision with Williams's Bruno Senna but that barely impeded his progress through the back markers. However, the safety car was then deployed following a frightening crash in which Nico Rosberg's Mercedes was launched over the back of Narain Karthikeyan's HRT. In the queue behind the safety car, Vettel misjudged the pace of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso behind him, had to take avoiding action and smashed into a trackside marker board. The impact wrecked his front wing but actually worked to his advantage, as it forced the German into the pits for a new wing and he put on a new set of fresh tyres. He made superb use of these in the next few laps, climbing through the field, making passes and benefiting from some lurid incidents between other drivers in front of him to climb up to seventh place by the time the leaders started to make their pit stops for fresh tyres. Those stops promoted Vettel to second place behind Raikkonen and Lotus believed Red Bull might be trying to get to the end of the race without stopping again. Instead, Vettel pitted again on lap thirty seven for another set of tyres, rejoining fourth about fifteen seconds behind the lead group of Raikkonen, Alonso and McLaren's Jenson Button. Two laps later, an incident between Sauber's Sergio Perez, Lotus's Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Mark Webber brought out the safety car again and, effectively, wiped out the majority of Vettel's deficit. It set up a thrilling climax to the race. The race was restarted with thirteen laps to go and as Raikkonen quickly built a three-second lead, Vettel immediately started to pressure Button for third. Button appeared to have the Red Bull under control but then Vettel made a final push and managed to pass Button for third around the outside into turn eleven and then taking the inside into turn twelve on lap fifty two. 'I had a messy start,' said Vettel. 'Then behind the safety car I made a little bit of a big mistake with Daniel [Ricciardo] who was stopping behind the safety car on the straight and I was very surprised and I had to go to the right. After that I said I had to go full attack or nothing. The second safety car was helping, then a nice fight with Jenson. I was really struggling to pass but then I just squeezed my way past in turn eleven. A thrilling GP, very nice, up and down.' Meanwhile, with seven laps to go Alonso's Ferrari started closing in on Raikkonen in the lead. Alonso got the lead down to a second but Raikkonen just held on. 'I'm very happy,' said Alonso. 'We were not super-competitive this weekend. We fought good in the first laps, good overtaking then strategy enabled us to fight for the victory. In the last laps Kimi was a bit slower so we attack, but second was the best possible result for us today. We keep fighting to the end.' Maldonado took fifth ahead of Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi. Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Senna, Force India's Paul di Resta and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten.

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Here's the Grand Dame her very self.

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