Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don't Talk To Me As If You Think I'm Dumb

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat his very self has revealed new details and stuff about Doctor Who's 2013 episodes which will be broadcast around the March-April period. The BBC's popular long-running family SF drama will broadcast eight new editions in early 2013, leading into a fiftieth anniversary special in November. 'We have Doctor Who taking on the modern urban thriller, which is not very much like anyone else's modern urban thriller!' showrunner Moffat told SFX. 'We've got your base-under-siege story in a new way. We've gone all-out to give you a fantastic alien planet, which is looking absolutely amazing. We've got a cracking ghost story, a really cracking ghost story. We've got Diana Rigg and junior Diana Rigg [the veteran actress's daughter, Rachael Stirling] in an absolutely mental story by Mark Gatiss - all period drama will pale next to this monstrosity of nonsense! It's absolutely glorious. You'll watch other period dramas and say "When are they going to do the scary bit?" And then there's the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it.' Moffat also promised that Neil Gaiman's forthcoming Cybermen adventure - which features Warwick Davis, Tamzin Outhwaite, Jason Watkins and Will Merrick - will exploit the 'creepy factor' of the iconic villains. 'Part of the impulse there was to say, "Have we fully exploited the creepy factor of the Cybermen yet?" - I thought Neil would be a good match for that,' the writer explained.

BBC1's special broadcast of The Sky at Night, in tribute to the late Sir Patrick Moore, attracted a bumper audience late on Tuesday night. Some 2.11m stayed up beyond 10.35pm to watch a newly-scheduled second showing of the December edition, first shown on BBC4. The Sky at Night has been broadcast monthly by the BBC since 1957, and Moore presented all bar one of the seven hundred and five episodes. It is not yet clear whether the format will continue after his death this week, although personally this blooger would be shocked and stunned if it didn't. Earlier on, the recently-recommissioned romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax continued to impress with a solid 6.04m in the 9pm hour, prior to which Holby City and EastEnders also held up well. ITV's factual offerings, in stark contrast, could only muster audiences of 1.83m for Inside Guinness World Records at 8pm and 1.97m for On the Run at 9pm. MasterChef: The Professionals recorded a new all-time high of 3.58m viewers for BBC2, after which 1.8m watched Cuba with Simon Reeve. The Sarah Millican Television Programme maintained a steady 1.21m. Channel Four's Is Our Weather Getting Any Worse? was a surprise hit in the 8pm slot with 2.23m, then 1.74m watched Heston's Fantastical Food. League Cup football scoring 1.1m between 7.30pm and 10pm catapulted Sky Sports 1 above Channel Five. Overall, BBC1 eased to victory in primetime with 24.2 per cent of the audience share, achieving over double ITV's 11.9 per cent.

Coverage of the London 2012 Olympics and Euro 2012 dominates the list of the most popular TV programmes of the year ahead of the usual chart toppers, including The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey. The Olympic closing ceremony on 12 August was the most-watched programme of the year, with an average audience of 24.5 million viewers, just ahead of Danny Boyle's widely acclaimed opening ceremony on 27 July (24.2 million). BBC1's live coverage of the closing ceremony attracted a bigger average audience than any British TV show for more than thirty years, since the BARB ratings measurement body began reporting figures in 1981. The 1986 Christmas Day edition of EastEnders, when Dirty Den Watts gave his then wife Angie her divorce papers, is widely held to be the most-watched TV show of recent times, with 30.15 million viewers. However, that figure includes the ratings for the EastEnders omnibus broadcast three days later – the average audience for the 25 December 1986 episode is thought to be about twenty million. Only one show has attracted a bigger audience than the opening ceremony's 24.2 million since 1981 – the 29 December 1996 Only Fools and Horses Christmas special in which Del Boy and Rodney dressed up as Batman and Robin, which averaged 24.35 million. The London Olympics and Euro 2012 football championships provide eight of the top ten most popular TV shows of the year, interrupted only by BBC1's Diamond Jubilee concert coverage (sixth, 15.3 million) and ITV's Britain's Got Talent final (ninth, 13.1 million) – the top-rating non-sports or diamond jubilee-related programme. ITV's The X Factor has been the number one rating programme for the past two years, but slipped to twentieth on the 2012 list, with the highest-rating edition on 23 September with an average audience of 11.4 million, including ITV+1 and 'timeshifted' seven-day catch-up viewing on Sky+ and other digital video recorders. Last Sunday's X Factor final had an overnight audience of 11.1 million – a figure which will rise when timeshift viewing is added, but probably not by enough to lift it into the top ten most-watched shows of the year. Christmas Day editions of popular dramas Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Call the Midwife and Doctor Who are still to come, of course, but they seem unlikely to top the huge TV audiences for London 2012 and the most popular Euro 2012 matches. England's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat by Italy on penalties provided the third most-watched programme of the year, with BBC1's live coverage on 24 June averaging 20.3 million viewers. Usain Bolt's one hundred metres victory in the London Games takes fourth place, with 17.3 million viewers on Sunday 5 August – the biggest audience for coverage of a 2012 Olympics event. Earlier the same evening BBC1's live athletics coverage, including the women's four hundred metres final, averaged 13.6 million, the eighth most popular show of the year. The previous night, Saturday 4 August, when Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah won three athletics gold medals within an hour, BBC1's live coverage averaged 12.3 million viewers (fourteenth). ITV's highest-rating programme of the year was its live coverage of England's Euro 2012 win against co-hosts Ukraine, which averaged 16.3 million on 19 June (fifth most popular show overall). BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said: 'It's been a very exciting year for BBC1, with the success of the Olympics at the heart of our output. The impact of The Voice and the strength of this year's Strictly Come Dancing have made Saturday nights a big family destination for the channel.' An ITV spokeswoman said: '2012 has been an extraordinary year for television, and in amongst that, ITV has broadcast the highest-rating drama in Downton Abbey, the highest-rating soap in Coronation Street and in Britain's Got Talent, the highest-rating entertainment show. Of the top five highest-rating programmes broadcast this year, that will return next, four of these series are on ITV.'

Angus Deayton has been given a role in the next series of the long-running BBC school drama Waterloo Road. The former presenter of Have I Got News For You will join the cast as a world-weary language teacher, George Windsor. Deayton's TV credits include appearances in Nighty Night and One Foot In The Grave. Waterloo Road, first broadcast in 2006, is now filmed in Greenock, central Scotland, after moving from Rochdale this year. The move after seven series was explained in the storyline for series eight, which saw teachers and pupils relocate to Scotland where they set up an independent school following the demolition of the Hill Top Primary, where the TV series was filmed. Deayton's character is described as some one who 'works to live, is sanguine, sardonic and deeply selfish.' In recent years the comedian presented BBC Radio 4's It's Your Round and starred in the BBC3 sitcom Pramface this year. He joins the show from episode twenty seven of series eight, which will be broadcast next year.

Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads could reportedly schedule next year's series of The X Factor directly against Strictly Come Dancing. Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads allegedly believes that he could 'boost flagging ratings' by placing the 2013 series in an earlier, family-friendly timeslot of 7pm, which would see it clash with its BBC rival. According to the Daily Scum Mail, Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads will 'meet with ITV executives' to discuss the future of The X Factor - which is contracted for only one more year under its current deal - in January. Perhaps surprisingly, the Daily Scum Mail offer no editorialising to this blatant threat of a ratings war from Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads although you can absolutely guarantee that if the boot were on the other foot and it was the BBC moving Strictly opposite The X Factor the Daily Scum Mail lice would have something to say about it. Hypocrisy>? From the Daily Scum Mail? Surely not? Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is also said to have offered 'a huge pay rise' to judge Nicole Scherzinger, who mentored this year's winner James Arthur and runner-up Jahmene Douglas, in order to secure her for next year's X Factor. 'Nicole has had a phenomenally successful year. She has established herself as part of The X Factor family,' a - namesless, and therefore almost certainly fictitious - alleged 'source' allegedly said. 'Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is prepared to pull out all the stops to make sure she comes back, including offering her a huge pay rise. She has been a revelation, by far and away the most popular judge.' However, the fates of panellists Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow are said to be 'uncertain,' as Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads contemplates a 'back to basics' revamp for the next series. And, the h=inherently ludicrous nature of existence. Probably. The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing have largely avoided each other since an apparent scheduling truce was reached between the BBC and ITV in early 2011. The subsequent two series of The X Factor have seen viewing figures fall dramatically, while Strictly - the earlier show - recorded a historic ratings victory on a handful of episodes last year and this series overtook The X Factor as the more popular of the two shows with viewers.

Downing Street is, reportedly, 'at war' with the Daily Torygraph after the paper once known as the house journal of the Conservative party alleged that the prime minister's director of communications issued 'a threat' over a story about the lack of culture secretary the vile and odious rascal Miller's expenses. In a blow to No 10's attempts to negotiate a deal over the Leveson report into press ethics with Britain's national newspapers, the Torygraph accused David Cameron's chief spin-doctor, Craig Oliver, of 'highlighting the role' played by the lack of culture secretary in 'dealing with the report's recommendations.' Tony Gallagher, the Torygraph's editor who has been involved in the negotiations with the vile and odious rascal Miller over the implementation of the Leveson report, ordered the publication of details of a private conversation with Oliver. The newspaper reported that Oliver had said in a telephone call with Gallagher last Friday that the article about her expenses might be 'badly timed' because 'she is looking at Leveson at the moment.' The newspaper published brief details of the conversation on Wednesday afternoon on its website following an article in its overnight print edition which said the vile and odious rascal Miller's own special adviser had asked the newspaper to 'consider the minister's role in implementing the Leveson report' before publishing details about her expenses. The paper reported Joanna Hindley as saying that she wanted to 'flag up' the vile and odious rascal Miller's role in negotiating with the Torygraph editor and other national newspaper editors who are pushing for the implementation of the Leveson principles without having to resort to parliamentary legislation. Hindley reportedly told a Torygraph reporter last Thursday: 'Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors' meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about.' Which sounds very much like a threat (or, indeed, a promise) to this blogger. Others may, of course, have differing opinions and that's perfectly valid in a free and democratic society. Which britain, for all of its manifest faults in other areas still, just about, is. The Torygraph reported on Monday that the vile and odious rascal Miller had claimed more than ninety thousand smackers in expenses for a second home in South-West London, which she described as her parents' home for 'nearly two decades.' The newspaper reported that the claims 'would appear to be at odds with parliamentary rules' after the former Labour minister Tony McNulty was reprimanded for allowing his parents to live in his second home, which was subsidised by the taxpayer. The report appeared the day before the vile and odious rascal Miller published the government's plans for equal marriage. The newspaper has been campaigning against the policy. Downing Street hit back at claims that Oliver had attempted to use the vile and odious rascal Miller's role in the Leveson negotiations to 'intimidate' the Torygraph. One alleged 'source' allegedly said that the No 10 director of communications had called Gallagher because the vile and odious rascal Miller's elderly father had been 'upset' after being approached at his home by a Torygraph reporter, a claim which the Torygraph rejects. At that stage, the newspaper had reportedly not approached the vile and odious rascal Miller herself or her office about the allegations regarding her expenses. Oliver, who had been called by the vile and odious rascal Miller late on Thursday night after 'an upsetting conversation' with her father, told Gallagher that it was up to the Torygraph how to report the story. But he told Gallagher that the vile and odious rascal Miller was 'upset' about the treatment of her father 'during a busy period for her.' Oliver also suggested that the Torygraph could have contacted the vile and odious rascal Miller rather than doorstep her elderly father. Gallagher reportedly asked Oliver whether the conversation 'was private' and then apologised for the 'upset' caused to the vile and odious rascal Miller's father, a point he repeated in an e-mail to the lack of culture secretary over the weekend. One alleged 'source' allegedly said that the conversation ended at this point and Oliver heard nothing more until the Torygraph reported on Wednesday afternoon that he had issued 'a threat' to the paper. One alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'Craig did not threaten the Telegraph over Leveson. He was not contacted before the Telegraph published its allegations about him. He was trying to raise concerns about the treatment of an elderly, infirm man who was upset.' The alleged 'source' allegedly confirmed that Oliver did mention the Leveson negotiations in the context of stressing how upset the vile and odious rascal Miller was at a busy time. Asked whether Oliver had mentioned Leveson 'as a way of putting pressure on the Torygraph,' the alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'He would not do anything that crass. The government has been very clear that it wants to avoid statutory legislation. There is no change to that position.' For the moment. The intervention by the vile and odious rascal Miller's special adviser prompted Doctor Evan Harris, the former Liberal Democrat MP who is a leading figure in the Hacked Off campaign, to call for the vile and odious rascal Miller to recuse herself from the Leveson negotiations. Speaking before the publication of the allegations about Oliver, he described the intervention by the vile and odious rascal Miller's special adviser as 'astonishing.' Brian Cathcart, the executive director of the campaign group, later issued a more emollient statement: 'The direct involvement of ministers in these secret negotiations means no one can be confident that the public's interests are being served rather than the interests of the editors and proprietors, or of the politicians.'
Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks walked away with almost eleven million smackers from billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation as 'compensation' after she resigned from her position as chief executive of News International at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, accounts published by News Corp show. The total is considerably higher than the seven million notes which Brooks - who used to count David Cameron and Tony Blair as close personal friends - had previously been thought to have taken home. And, it is far in excess of the three and a half million quid payout believed to have been given at the time of her departure, in shame and ignominy, from News International in July 2011. Accounts for NI Group Ltd, the UK holding company for News Corp's Sun and Times titles plus its HarperCollins book business, and other related companies disclosed the payment – the first time the company has confirmed exactly how much well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks received – ahead of its expected public market listing in 2012. The accounts say that one 'unnamed director' received £10.852m as coompensation for loss of office.' That money includes 'various ongoing benefits' – including the funding for the costs of an office in Marylebone for two years, and for the cost of providing her with a number of staff for the same period of time. The Gruniad Morning Star claims that person is, of course, yer actual well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks. A close ally of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, who once described her as his 'larrikin' – mischievous youth – well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks edited the Scum of the World and the Sun in succession before taking over as chief executive of News International in the summer of 2009. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks will also have 'all legal and other professional costs' relating to the various court cases she is currently fighting paid for by News Corp 'until those investigations are concluded' – and the company noted that it expected further costs to be incurred, costs not factored in the accounts for the year to 1 July 2012. The former chief executive is facing three sets of charges in relation to alleged criminality at the Scum of the World and News International, and a potentially lengthy jail term if convicted of any or all of them. She has been accused of conspiring with her husband, millionaire Old Etonian Charlie, and others, to pervert the course of justice and frustrate an investigation by the Metropolitan police into the publisher. She is also facing two charges in relation to conspiring to intercept the voicemails of individuals including those Milly Dowler. She is additionally facing a charge in relation to corrupt payments allegedly made to a former Ministry of Defence official for stories, alongside the Sun's former chief reporter John Kay. Well-known Crystal Tipps lookalikwe Brooks denies all of the charges. The accounts did not say if there was any clawback arrangement to reclaim any money should well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Brooks be found extremely guilty of a criminal offence relating to her employment. But on the last occasion when reports of the size of her severance circulated, News International 'sources' indicated that money would have to be paid back if a court returned a guilty verdict against her. Overall, NI Group, reported a loss of £189.4m after tax – although the deficit at Britain's largest newspaper group stemmed largely from two hundred and fifty million quid worth of charges relating to the closure of the Scum of the World and legal bills relating to phone-hacking and other police investigations into nefarious skuduggery, naughty shenanigans and other bad doings. The company ran up legal bills of £140.9m, redundancy and restructuring costs, relating mainly to the closure of the Scum of the World, of £29.8m. The one hundred and fifty million smackers sale of its historic Wapping print plant and headquarters also prompted a loss on the disposal of fifty nine million knicker.

The BBC has marked the fifteenth anniversary of BBC Online. The bbc.co.uk website was launched in December 1997, three years after the first BBC web pages were developed. Ralph Rivera, director of Future Media explained in a blog: 'Innovation is at the heart of the BBC and has been since its inception. From when the BBC opened its first radio station in 1922 and launched the world's first regular television service in 1936 few could have imagined just what impact broadcasting would make on our everyday lives.' He added: 'Just as radio and TV did before it, the digital revolution has fundamentally changed how our audiences access news, information and programmes. As one of the first major organisations in the UK to embrace the web the birth of the BBC's websites fifteen years ago is an important milestone in that evolution.'

A flag of West Ham United has made a surprise cameo appearance in The Simpsons. The seventh episode of the current twenty fourth season of the popular animated sitcom - titled The Day the Earth Stood Cool - included a quick shot of the flag on the wall of a minor character's bedroom. Bart and Lisa visit their hipster next-door neighbour, T-Rex, in the episode, with a Hamsters flag in the middle of his room. The London Premier League club's castle crest is seen in the banner, but their usual claret and blue colours were strangely replaced by green and gold. A spokesperson for West Ham tweeted: 'West Ham United were delighted to be featured in The Simpsons.'
Law & Order's Linus Roache has claimed that he went to an 'animal psychic' to help him communicate with his dead cat. Forty eight-year-old Roache, the son of Bill Roache who plays Coronation Street's Ken Barlow, told occult magazine Spirit and Destiny that he wanted to find out why his cat Chloe kept climbing eighty foot trees. Err ... because it's a cat? Just a wild stab in the dark there, Linus. He said: 'I was spending three hundred dollars a time to pay tree surgeons to rescue her.' Surely a small axe would've been cheaper? The so-called 'animal communicator' he consulted told him that tree climbing was 'an immature habit' Chloe would grow out of. She added that Chloe had said: 'I'm not up the tree now, so what are you worried about?' Good question. Roache - who is clealry not a complete and total mug taken for a ride by a con artist - also used the psychic to talk to another of his cats, Jack, both when the animal was alive and after he had died. The actor is now moving to New York to help run spiritual network EnlightenNext, which says that it is 'dedicated to catalysing evolution in consciousness and culture.' Roache admitted that he was 'trying to embrace his spiritual side' because he had realised 'success as an actor alone' wouldn't make him happy. He went on to reveal that he currently meditates with his father and feels that he has been influenced by his parents, who become druids in the 1960s.

A worker laid off by a US beef processing company has sued celebrity chef, the odious pork monster Jamie Oliver, a food blogger and ABC News, saying that their use of the term 'pink slime' helped him lose his job. Bruce Smith, fifty eight, was one of about seven hundred and fifty people fired by Beef Products Inc, maker of lean finely textured beef. He is seeking seventy grand in damages, saying that the company and workers were 'maligned' by the 'unfair' phrase. The firm closed three plants and fired workers at its South Dakota office. A social media campaign against use of the beef led to heightened public concerns over its health and safety. Federal regulators said the beef ingredient met food safety standards, but critics argued the food was unappetising and possibly unsafe. The US Department of Agriculture eventually chose to allow schools to stop serving the product. Lean finely textured beef is made from beef heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

The new wave of hometown reality shows such as The Only Way is Essex, Geordie Shore and The Valleys may have proved to be a hit with a certain audience (glakes, basically), but local residents are not amused. Locals, according to the Daily Lies, looking to sell in areas where the shows are set – Brentwood in Essex, Newcastle and Cardiff – are having to drop the asking price because buyers don't like being associated with the reality shows. Spotting an obvious PR wheeze property firm Rightmove have labelled it the 'TOWIE Effect.'

Composer Howard Goodall is presenting a personal view of the development of western music from the stone age to the digital age in a BBC2 series to be broadcast next month. Howard Goodall's Story of Music, a six-part documentary series, will feature the Blackadder composer performing and demonstrating key techniques and theories that have played a part in the development of music, beginning in 32,000BC with the cave paintings in Chauvet, Southern France. Goodall - whose previous BBC factual series include the acclaimed Howard Goodall's Twentieth Century Greats (2004) and Howard Goodall's How Music Works (2006) does away with usual musical jargon and, perhaps controversially, resists talking about musical periods in the terms usually applied, such as classical, baroque and romantic. Goodall has composed incidental music for many popular UK comedy programmes including Red Dwarf, The Black Adder and its sequels, Mr Bean, The Thin Blue Line, The Vicar of Dibley, The Catherine Tate Show, 2point4 Children and Qi, on which he has also appeared twice as a panellist. It was as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford that he first met Rowan Atkinson and the writer Richard Curtis, his collaborators on numerous subsequent projects, including his first break into TV, Not The Nine O'Clock News. 'This is an overview, for someone who doesn't have a music degree. It's an attempt to make the basic building blocks of music clear,' he said at a press launch for the new series on Tuesday. 'If I had my way we'd start again from scratch and redo all the terms associated with classical music, even octave, and interval – it's not an interval – its a leap.' Instead, across six 'ages' – discovery, invention, elegance and sensibility, tragedy, rebellion and popular – Goodall will show the influence of classical on popular music and chart the evolution of genres including blues, jazz and world music, reflecting on the part played by historical and social developments. He explains concepts such as circle of fifths, and links Schubert to Adele. 'The distance between them is remarkably small,' Goodall said. 'Everything [today] is based on what went before. There is a straight line that runs from the earliest music to the present day.' The series will feature Goodall in the studio, along with archive footage and specially recorded excerpts from performers including violinist Nicola Benedetti, the Sacconi Quartet, singers Noah Stewart, Emma Williams, Meeta Raval and Nathan Vale, and the Maria Fidelis Convent School Gospel Choir. Howard Goodall's Story of Music has been made by Tiger Aspect, the independent producer he has previously collaborated with on series on subjects including organ music and choirs. The TV series will be accompanied by a Radio 3 series in which Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss how fifty key works contributed to the development of music. Goodall said the series is not about a role call of famous composers, or even about places. 'The music came to us [in the studio].' He added that the idea of the composer 'owning' music only came about when it could be written down, around one thousand years ago. But he said he thought we were currently returning to a 'shared musical community. The split between the two wings of music [classical and popular] is finally beginning to close,' Goodall added, thanks in part to technology. 'The terminology of classical music is very unhelpful and inaccurate,' he said. For instance, baroque music has nothing to do with the style of art and architecture to which the term is applied. 'My dream is that from watching this people, on hearing a piece of music, will be roughly able to locate it.'

While TV bosses are just beginning to look at how to reverse the ratings slump at The X Factor, it seems the brains behind the equally audience-challenged Twatting About On Ice have already found what they hope is the answer. Hosts the curiously orange Christine Bleakley and Phillip Schofield (and Ze List) have been 'taking ice-skating lessons' so they can conduct interviews, present and even, maybe, 'perform a routine themselves to liven up the show' on ice. Is Schofield really the right presenter to 'liven up' a show? Although, it must be said, the possibility of the curious orange greed bucket (and drag) Bleakley falling over and landing on her bum, on the ice, hard, is rather appealing.

Finally, how could we overlook one of the great Fleet Street festive traditions, the Scum Mail and Scum Express's tedious and predictable annual whinge about Christmas TV repeats. After several years of being scooped by its rival on the-story-that-bears-endless-repeating, the Daily Scum Mail was first in this year on Saturday with a headline that read Deja view! Half of all TV programmes shown over Christmas will be repeats. The Sunday Scum Express came to the party the following day with 'The Queen is not amused' over TV festive repeats. The Scum Express's tardiness is easily outweighed by bonus points for spicing up the tired 'TV repeats outrage' recipe with a royal reference – although they struggled to include the key phrase 'festive' in the alleged - and almost certainly fictitious - 'quote' attributed to the monarch, who apparently told a Commonwealth gathering it was 'annoying so many programmes seem to be repeated so often.' The Sunday Scum Express, however, does keep up the relatively new tradition (established in 2011) in its 'TV repeats outrage' story of not mentioning a certain fifth terrestrial channel now owned by its proprietor Richard Desmond. But since you ask dear blog reader, according to the Radio Times Channel Five's Christmas Day schedule consists entirely of repeats between 9am and 1am – apart from terrestrial movie premiere The Santa Incident (even that's already been shown by Sky Movies). Spare a thought for Daily Scum Mail subs, who appear to be struggling to avoid repeats of their own in coming up with headlines for the-story-that-bears-endless-repeating. Like the Christmas turkey that's still turning up days later in salads and curries, the Scum Mail's scum headlines have shown definite signs of repeat fatigue over the years. 2002's offering featured a jaunty culinary theme: The TV banquet of Christmas repeats: Five main channels to reheat Firty Five old shows on the 25th. But this year's effort combines tired leftovers from 2006's Expect deja vu on TV this Christmas and 2009's Come again? Half of TV shows are repeats.

On Thursday evening, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping hisd very self will be attending Uncle Scunthorpe's second to last Record Player event for 2012 (or, if them Mayans were right, the second to last ever). This very evening, I an' I will be blessed by a holy words of His Imperial Majesty Jah Ras'Tafari as the chosen LP is, of course, yer actual Exodus by Bob Marley & His Various Wailers - quite possibly the greatest record ever made by anyone, ever. An' ting. So, for today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, it's The Man, it's The Man, it's The Very Man with a twenty-four carat masterpiece.
The only - slight - drawback of having Exodus this week is that we'll have a room full of white (mostly middle-aged) people nodding away on the off-beat to one of the great skanking LPs of all time. For one week only, Uncle Scunthorpe, you should allow a bit of 'dancing like a geography teacher at the sixth form disco' at The Record Player?

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