Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If You See Me In The Street Look Away

A newly released Doctor Who image has shown off the redesigned TARDIS interior. The Doctor (Matt Smith) appears in a first-look picture released ahead of next week's Christmas special, The Snowmen. The interior of The Doctor's time machine was given a makeover by production designer Michael Pickwoad. A new version of the show's theme tune will also be heard for the first time this Christmas, along with a brand new title sequence. Jenna-Louise Coleman will also make her first appearance as mysterious companion Clara in The Snowmen. Richard E Grant and Silent Witness actor Tom Ward will also make guest appearances.
Smudger his very self, meanwhile, has said that fans can expect 'killer snowmen and killer snow' in the Doctor Who Christmas special. Which'll be nice. Appearing on Tuesday's edition of This Morning, Smith told presenters Phillip Schofield and Ruth Langsford what to expect on the upcoming special. He said: 'We have killer snowmen and killer snow and we've got Richard E Grant - who was born to be a Who villain! He's a wonderful guy.' Smudger continued: 'Most importantly we get to meet the new companion Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, who has started thrillingly - she has done brilliant work, very detailed, she's very hard working and she's just a delight.' Matt went on to praise the show's fanbase, saying: 'They are uber fans, they are so loyal. Great credit to them, they are a wonderful bunch of fans and I think people mistake craziness for enthusiasm! They are just enthusiastic and committed.' Well ... some of them are, Matta. Trust me. When asked about the new redesign of the TARDIS, the thirty year-year-old responded: 'It is true - it's been slightly revamped. Interior designed. Without giving too much away - we went to space IKEA!'

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has promised that Doctor Who will 'take over television' in 2013. That'll also be nice. However, the showrunner - speaking at a screening of this year's Christmas special The Snowmen - remained tight-lipped about any specific plans for the fiftieth anniversary year. 'They are immense, they are considerable,' he promised. '[The episodes] will be full of tremendous surprises. But they wouldn't be surprises if I accidentally said them now, would they? But I promise you, we're going to take over television. Trust me.' Sounds fair enough.

And now, dear blog reader, The First Question.
Oh yes.

On Wednesday morning, dearest bloggerisationisms reader-type persons, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self appeared on BBC Newcastle's Alfie & Charlie At Breakfast with his sometime writing oppo Alfie Joey and the divine Chas Charlton her very self, to talk about the Christmas TV schedules. And some other stuff. And, very well it did go, even if he does say so himself. If you want to listen to it, go here, it'll be available for the next seven days from 19 December. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping is on about two hours and forty eight minutes in for approximately ten minutes. There are several gratuitous Doctor Who references and more than one plug for this blog, be warned. So, apologies in advance.
The High Court has quashed the original inquest verdicts returned on ninety six Liverpool football fans who died as a result of police negligence in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge ordered fresh inquests following an application by the Attorney General. Dominic Grieve made his request to the High Court three months after a new report established that forty one of those who died might have been saved. The home secretary has also announced a new police inquiry into the disaster. Theresa May said that the new inquiry would re-examine what happened in April 1989. New medical evidence was used as a basis for the new inquests application. May said former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart would lead the new inquiry, which will focus specifically on the ninety six deaths of Liverpool fans as a result of what happened at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989. The fans died after they were crushed within two pens at the Leppings Lane terrace of Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during the semi-final with Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989. May said she was 'determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel to deliver justice for the ninety six football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf.' Stoddart will be able to recruit investigators and staff to his team, but he will not be allowed to employ officers or former officers with any prior connection to the Hillsborough disaster or from the West Midlands, South Yorkshire or Merseyside police forces. He said he was 'aware of the great significance and personal responsibility which comes with leading this criminal investigation. My first priority is to meet with as many of the families as possible and to establish a working open relationship with them throughout the investigation,' he said. In making his request, the Attorney General said the 'horrific' events at the stadium were well known and 'were seen by millions on television as the tragedy unfolded and by many of the spectators at the stadium itself.' He said that in the months and years that followed, the events that led to the tragedy 'have been the subject of numerous investigations and inquiries.' Grieve said the application was being made as a consequence of the Hillsborough Panel's report published on 12 September this year, which he said was a 'remarkable' document. He said that Dr Bill Kirkup, the medical member of the panel and a former associate chief medical officer at the Department of Health, had explained that, of the deceased, fifty eight 'definitely' or 'probably' had the capacity to survive beyond the 15:15 cut-off time. That new evidence, which Grieve said formed the 'essential basis' for his application 'undermines the coroner's summing-up at the inquests.' The original inquest verdicts angered many of the bereaved families who were told at the 1990 hearing that all Hillsborough's victims had been, effectively, dead by 15:15 on the afternoon of the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Evidence covering the response by the emergency services after this time was, as a consequence, not heard at the original inquest. Andy Burnham, Labour MP for Leigh, who set up the panel, said it was a 'bittersweet' day for the families. 'Those families shouldn't be coming to London to find out they're back where they should have been twenty three years ago,' he said. 'Some of the families said to me "we never heard what happened to our son and my dad died not knowing." No family should ever be in that position in this country.' The panel's findings showed police and emergency services had made 'strenuous attempts' to deflect the blame for the disaster on to the fans. More than one hundred and sixty police statements had been altered - one hundred and sixteen of them to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the match. Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram said that he was 'concerned' the families of the victims may not have the finances to support any new legal cases. In response, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: 'I think it might be helpful to say that my department is very mindful of the financial pressures faced by the Hillsborough families. We all recognise the very difficult circumstances they have been through and they are certainly in our consideration.'
A forty six-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by detectives from the Met Police's phone-hacking investigation. The man was arrested at his home address in South-West London by officers from Operation Weeting. He was taken into custody at a South London police station for questioning. Scotland Yard launched Operation Weeting, which runs parallel to an inquiry into corrupt payments by journalists to officials, last year. The man is the twenty sixth person arrested by officers working on Operation Weeting, the police investigation into claims that reporters hacked into mobile telephones to obtain stories. Eight people, including well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and the prime minister's former communications chief Andy Coulson, are already facing a total of nineteen charges relating to phone-hacking. The two ex-Scum of the World editors are among seven of the disgraced and disgraceful paper's former staff facing charges of conspiring to intercept voicemails. The phone-hacking allegations led to the closure of the Scum of the World in shame and ignominy in July 2011 and the setting up of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics. The conclusions of which, they government have, so far, chosen to ignore. For reasons best known to themselves. And their friends in Fleet Street.
An inquiry into Newsnight's shelving of a report into sexual abuse claims against the late -and alleged - very naughty old rotter Jimmy Savile has criticised BBC management but found no evidence of a deliberate, organised conspiracy. Cock-up, rather than cover-up, in other words. It was not done to protect tribute shows to the late DJ and presenter, as some had claimed (without any supporting evidence), said the report. A separate report is critical of a Newsnight report which led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child abuse allegations by some people on the Internet. Chaos and confusion, a lack of leadership from senior executives and an adherence to 'rigid management chains' meant that BBC proved 'completely incapable' of dealing with the Savile affair, according to an excoriating one hundred and eighty five-page report into the handling of, and fall out from, the decision to cancel a Newsnight film investigation into a number of allegations of child sexual abuse against the late presenter. The editor and deputy editor of Newsnight are to be replaced. The Pollard Review was set up by the BBC to see if there were management 'failings' over the investigation, dropped by Newsnight in December 2011. It found plenty although probably not the ones that BBC critics like the Daily Scum Mail and the Gruniad Morning Star were hoping for. Tribute programmes to the late DJ and presenter were later broadcast on BBC TV over Christmas and New Year 2011. The report by Sky's former head of news Nick Pollard said: "'The decision to drop the original investigation was flawed and the way it was taken was wrong but I believe it was done in good faith. It was not done to protect the Savile tribute programmes or for any improper reason.' Responding to the report in an e-mail to staff, BBC acting director general Tim Davie said he was 'pleased to say that the review found no evidence of any improper pressure to prevent the broadcast of the Newsnight investigation or to protect the Jimmy Savile tribute programmes.' But, he accepted that the 'report exposed clear failings in some of our systems, the way we work together and make decisions.' The message also announced that the editor of Newsnight, Peter Rippon would be replaced, and he was now in talks with the BBC about a possible new role. Something in photo-copying at Radio Rutland, one imagines. Head of BBC News Helen Boaden, who had stepped aside during the inquiry, would return to her post on Thursday. Deputy director of news Stephen Mitchell will leave the BBC next year. Mitchell faced some of the most serious criticism from Pollard, making a 'serious mistake' in deciding to remove the intended Newsnight Savile film from the BBC's 'managed risk programmes list' in November 2011. This would have flagged up the existence of a potentially controversial item to other BBC executives. However, there were harsh words for many other BBC executives too. Pollard's report said the 'most worrying aspect' of the Savile/Newsnight affair was that the BBC showed a 'complete inability to deal with the events that followed.' In a clear criticism of George Entwistle, the director general who resigned on 10 November after being overwhelmed by the Savile scandal, and other senior executives, Pollard said that they proved unable to get to the bottom of what had happened with the axed Newsnight film that would have revealed the truth about Savile in late 2011. 'The efforts to get to the truth behind the Savile story proved beyond the combined efforts of the senior management, legal department, corporate communications team and anyone else for well over a month,' Pollard said.

Former BBC director general George Entwistle has claimed that he 'did not read' e-mails sent to him from two senior colleagues hinting at Jimmy Savile's 'dark side' in a discussion about planned obituaries for the - allegedly naughty - Jim'll Fix It host. Entwistle, who resigned from the BBC with a four hundred and fifty grand pay-off last month after just fifty four days in the job, was told in an e-mail from the corporation's then head of events Nick Vaughan-Barratt in May 2010, nearly eighteen months before Savile died, that he had worked with the TV and radio presenter and saw 'the real truth' and would 'feel uneasy' about making a tribute to him. Vaughan-Barratt told Entwistle in the e-mail in May 2010: 'We have no obit and I am not sure we would want one. My first job in TV was on a [Savile] show, I saw the complex and sometimes conflicting nature of the man at first hand. I'd feel v [sic] queasy about an obit. I saw the real truth!' Sadly, he didn't, at that point, say what 'the real truth' was which might have saved a lot of people a lot of subsequent problems. Nor, it seems, did he inform the police about his knowledge of 'the real truth.' Pity. Asked by Pollard what he meant by 'the real truth,' Vaughan-Barratt claimed: 'It is Saturday afternoon. I have just heard that Savile is ill. We haven't got an obit for him. I don't think we should make one. The guy is pretty complex and difficult and there is a dark side.' But, he still didn't say what 'the real truth' was. Vaughan-Barratt told Pollard that he was 'not aware' of 'specific allegations' of child sex abuse by Savile until late 2012. So, it seems that 'the real truth' wasn't that, then. Entwistle replied saying that he did not think the BBC needed a pre-prepared obituary for Savile, and raised the possibility of reshowing an -award-winning - Louis Theroux documentary on Savile but could not remember 'how edgy it was.' At the time Entwistle was BBC controller of knowledge commissioning, overseeing all TV factual output. He later became BBC Vision director – ultimately responsible for all TV programmes – before his brief reign as director general began in September. Another e-mail to Entwistle from Jan Younghusband, the commissioning editor for BBC music and events, sent on the day after Savile's death in October 2011, by which time Entiwstle was running BBC Vision, said: 'I gather we didn't prepare the obit [for Savile] because of the darker side of the story. There are aspects of this which are hard to tell.' The e-mails were revealed in The Pollard Review. Pollard described the e-mails as a 'missed opportunity' and said they raise questions for Entwistle. Entwistle maintained in interviews with Pollard that he had 'never read' the e-mails. However, Pollard's report said a forensic examination of two e-mail accounts controlled by Entwistle discovered that the e-mails from Younghusband appeared as 'read,' but that it was not possible to establish whether they were read by Entwistle or his personal assistant. Nevertheless, the former director general told Pollard that he 'did not recall' the e-mails and said: 'It is hard to know what he means by that and what I would have taken from it.' Pollard that there was 'knowledge, not just rumour' within BBC Vision about the 'unsavoury side of Savile's character at the time the Christmas tribute programmes were planned.' The Pollard Review published further e-mails from Vaughan-Barratt to Younghusband. He told Younghusband in an e-mail on the day after Savile's death that the BBC had decided 'not to prepare an obituary' for Savile in advance. Vaughan-Barratt added in the e-mail: 'We decided that the dark side to Jim (I worked with him for ten years) would make it impossible to make an honest film that could be shown close to death. But maybe one could be made for later.' In follow-up e-mails, Entwistle and Danny Cohen, BBC1 controller, said the channel was 'not the right place' for a commemoration of Savile's life, but did not explain why. Those e-mails prompted Younghusband to reply to the two executives: 'I gather we didn't prepare the obit because of the darker side of the story. So something celebrating a particular part of his TV career is probably better than the [life] story as there are aspects of this which are hard to tell.' Younghusband said in an interview with Pollard that she believed the 'darker side' to refer to claims that Savile mishandled charity money. In a later submission to Pollard's inquiry, Entwistle said Vaughan-Barratt and Younghusband would have told him if they had 'real suspicions of misconduct' about Savile. He pointed out that none of the e-mails explicitly referred to sexual misconduct and said that he only became aware of their existence during searches for The Pollard Review. Entwistle said in a statement following the publication of Pollard's report on Wednesday: 'As director general, in October 2012, as soon as I became aware of allegations of sexual abuse against Savile, I took the matter straight to the police and offered the BBC's full co-operation with their investigations.'

Detectives investigating historical claims of sexual abuse linked to - alleged - disgraceful old scallywag Jimmy Savile have arrested a man in his seventies in London. The former BBC Radio 1 producer, Ted Beston, was arrested as part of the investigation into allegations of abuse against Savile and others in the entertainment industry. Beston, seventy six, from Bromley, was detained at 06.30 by detectives from Operation Yewtree. He is being questioned on suspicion of sexual offences at a police station. Beston worked with the late presenter on his Radio 1 shows, including Savile's Travels. In that format, Savile travelled across the UK talking to members of the public. Savile affectionately referred to Beston on-air as 'Uncle Ted.' During the day there have been signs of police activity at Beston's house - three men in suits were seen to leave the premises in two cars carrying a large black holdall and three sealed black bin liners. The former producer is being investigated under the strand of the investigation termed 'Savile and others' - meaning that the allegations are linked directly to Savile himself. Beston is the eighth person to be questioned as part of Operation Yewtree. Seven have been arrested whilst one suspect was interviewed under caution but not arrested. So far no-one has been charged. Police said recently five hundred and eighty nine alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others. High-profile names arrested in connection with the investigation are self-styled 'PR consultant' Max Clifford, comedian Freddie Starr, DJ Dave Lee Travis and former TV producer Wilfred De'Ath, who all deny any wrongdoing. Convicted paedophile Gary Glitter, who was also arrested, has not yet made a statement. BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger said recently he believed the police have a total of twenty suspects whom they wanted to interview.
The allegation that a police officer falsely claimed to have heard Andrew Mitchell calling police 'fucking plebs' is 'extremely serious,' the Metropolitan Police say. Mitchell, who - eventually - quit as government chief whip over the incident, has called for an inquiry, with alleged (though, suspiciously nameless) 'friends' arguing that he should return to office. A police officer was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of misconduct. The Metropolitan Police said the issue went 'to the very heart' of trust in police and promised to 'act swiftly.' Channel Four News has alleged that a police officer sent an e-mail, purporting to be from a member of the public who witnessed the row between Mitchell and police in Downing Street in September, in which Mitchell was said to have called them 'plebs.' CCTV coverage suggests that no-one other than the officers involved was within obvious earshot of Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, when the incident took place. The e-mail was sent to Deputy Chief Whip John Randall, who passed it on to Downing Street. Randall has given a statement to the police but has declined to comment further in public, saying he does 'not wish to jeopardise the police's position.' The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said he had been told that the wording of the e-mail and the statements made by the officers involved in the row were 'remarkably similar.' A Diplomatic Protection Squad officer was arrested on Saturday for alleged misconduct in public office. Mitchell has always denied using the word 'pleb' but has admitted that he 'lost his temper and swore' at the officers after they refused to let him cycle through the main gate. Which, in and of itself, is an arrestable offence whether the word 'plebs' was used or not. He resigned from his post in October, following weeks of criticism in the media during which time he clung onto his job by his fingertips. Since the latest allegations he has called for a full inquiry. In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: 'The allegation that a serving police officer fabricated evidence is extremely serious. It goes to the very heart of the public's trust in the police service.' It added that it had 'acted swiftly' and was conducting 'a thorough and well-resourced investigation to get to the truth of the matter as quickly as possible.' The claim by the off-duty officer to have witnessed the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Met said: 'If any evidence emerges of conspiracy this will form part of the investigation. This is a fast-moving and comprehensive investigation and the highly unusual events of the last three days have shown this inquiry will need to go where the evidence takes us as it progresses.' Earlier, Downing Street called the allegations over police conduct 'exceptionally serious,' saying that they should be treated 'as a matter of urgency.' John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents officers in the force, said: 'The Metropolitan Police Federation unequivocally and categorically refutes any allegation that it was part of a conspiracy to unseat a cabinet minister.'

ITV is to celebrate thirty years of its children's programming by screening classic TV shows for two days next month. Programmes including Rainbow, Super Gran, Press Gang, The Raggy Dolls and Children's Ward will all be broadcast. Digital channel CITV will clear its schedule on 5 and 6 January to screen almost nine hours of old favourites each day. ITV will also broadcast a documentary to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary. Other popular shows to be screened include Count Duckula, Art Attack, The Tomorrow People (presumably, the crap 1990s remake rather than the 1970s original), Puddle Lane and Rosie & Jim. Teenage drama series Press Gang and Children's Ward both won BAFTAs during their original runs. Created by Kay Mellor and Paul Abbott, Children's Ward helped launch the careers of many writers, including future Doctor Who boss Russell Davies, who wrote and produced the series. Press Gang, set in the offices of a student newspaper and starring the young Julia Sawalha and Dexter Fletcher, was created by current Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat. 'We are very proud of CITV's heritage and look forward to bringing back all the old favourites for this one-off, not-to-be-missed event,' said Jamila Metran, CITV's head of programming. She added that the weekend of repeats would 'show the kids what their parents watched when they were young.' Or, grandparents in the case of Rainbow. Children's ITV launched on 3 January 1983 with guest presenters such as Roland Rat, Basil Brush and odious, risible Timmy Mallett recording introductions to programmes. Digital channel CITV channel launched in 2006.

The executive producer of Homeland has hit back at suggestions that the second series of the drama isn't quite as gripping as the first, reports the Independent's sister paper, i. Alex Gansa said critics felt a 'natural urge' to attack a successful show. The drama, which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, comes to an end in the UK on Channel Four on Sunday with a climax that may - or may not - be as gripping as the first season denouement. Don't get yer actual Keith Telly Topping started on that, dear blog reader, or you'll be here all night. If only there was a serial code on the side of TV critics' remote controls that you could type into your laptop, thereby guaranteeing positive reviews of your show.

Ever wondered what Times writer Caitlin Moran would look like if she dressed up as Nigella Lawson, and vice versa? Well, wonder no more, dear blog reader, courtesy of this Times video (which, be warned, includes some womanly arse touching).
Former Coronation Street actress, and recent resident of the 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) jungle, Helen Flanagan has been accused of 'being insensitive' after posting a photo of herself holding a gun days after twenty children were shot dead in America. The Sun claims - extremely unconvincingly - that news of the image has even reached parents of the victims. What they probably mean is that a Sun stringer on the ground in the US grassed Flanagan up, good and proper, like a Copper's Nark and, after several attempts, finally found someone who gave a damn to give produce a quote. 'One angry dad,' (suspiciously nameless, as it happens) allegedly 'speaking at a shrine to the victims', allegedly told the alleged tabloid: 'It's just ignorant. When the eyes of the world are on what happened here, to be posing with a gun like that is insensitive and stupid.' Possibly true but, it's not really 'news', is it?

Game of Thrones will be launching its own brand of beer, it has been reported. According to the New York Times, the HBO fantasy drama is collaborating with Cooperstown, New York company Brewery Ommegang on specially-themed ales. The first in the series of beers to be released will be called 'Iron Throne Blonde Ale', and will be available both in bottles and on draught in March. A second Game of Thrones-inspired beer will début in the fall of 2013, and two more are schedule to be released after that. This isn't the first time HBO has launched a beverage inspired by one of the network's shows. In 2009, a True Blood energy drink was launched to promote the supernatural drama. Season three of Game of Thrones will premiere on 31 March 2013. The show is broadcast on HBO in the US and on Sky Atlantic in the UK. And, it's rather good, to be honest, clearly a quality production with lots of fine actors in it. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's advice, therefore, dive in with both feet, ignore all the 'Foeglandrepolthing The King's Snot-Gobbler thence fought The Thaags at The Battle of Wazzock's Nodule' nonsense and just enjoy it as a spectacular bit of film-making.

New guidelines could see fewer people being charged in England and Wales for offensive messages on social networks. The Director of Public Prosecutions said people should face a trial only if their comments on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere 'go beyond' being merely offensive. He said that the guidance combats threats and Internet trolls without having a 'chilling effect' on free speech. The guidance means some people could avoid trial if they are 'sorry' for potentially criminal comments posted, for instance, whilst drunk. The guidance comes after a string of controversial cases, including the prosecution of a man who tweeted a jokey comment in which he threatening to 'blow up' an airport if his flight was delayed. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the Crown Prosecution Service had now dealt with more than fifty cases relating to potentially criminal comments posted online - but there was so far very little case law set by senior judges to guide which trials should go ahead and which should be thrown in the bin for being ruddy ridiculous. He said the interim guidelines, which come into force immediately, 'clarified' which 'kinds of cases' should be prosecuted and which would go ahead only after a rigorous assessment whether it was in the public interest to prosecute. 'The scale of the problem that we are trying to confront should not be underestimated. There are millions of messages sent by social media every day and if only a small percentage of those millions are deemed to be offensive then there is the potential for very many cases coming before our courts,' Starmer told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. The guidance says that if someone posts a message online which clearly amounts to a credible threat of violence, specifically targets an individual or individuals, or breaches a court order designed to protect someone, then the person behind the message should still face prosecution. People who receive malicious messages and pass them on, such as by retweeting, could also fall foul of the same law. However, online posts which are merely 'grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false' would face a much tougher test before the individual could be charged under laws designed to prevent malicious communications. Starmer said that many suspects in this last category would be unlikely to be prosecuted because it would not be in the public interest to take them to court. This could include posts made by drunk people who, on sobering up, regret the error of their ways and take swift action to delete the communication because they are genuinely sorry for the offence or harm caused. Individuals who post messages as part of a separate crime, such as a plan to import drugs, would face prosecution for that offence, as is currently the case. Starmer said: 'These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law. The interim guidelines thus protect the individual from threats or targeted harassment while protecting the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious - or trivial - matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some and painful to those subjected to it.' Earlier this year, senior judges overturned the conviction of Paul Chambers who tweeted in 2010 that he would 'blow up' Doncaster Airport because he was frustrated that it had been closed by snow. Chambers, and his many high-profile supporters, always said that the tweet was - clearly - meant as 'a joke' and should not have been taken seriously by anyone but the stupidest glake in all the land. Quashing the conviction, the Lord Chief Justice said Chambers should not have been convicted of sending a 'menacing communication' because the tweet was, clearly, not menacing and it did not amount to a serious threat which created fear or apprehension. Asked if he now regretted the prosecution of Chambers, the DPP rather neatly shifted the blame onto someone else: 'A judgement call had to be made about that case. The Divisional Court ruled that our judgement call was wrong and I accept that.' Although the interim guidance is now in force, its final form is subject to a consultation that runs until 13 March 2013.

A former McDonald's employee has won three grand in compensation following a court case. Sarah Finch, nineteen, was fired for 'gross misconduct' after she was deemed to have given too many chocolate sprinkles to a colleague on a ninety nine pence McFlurry. The waitress took the restaurant to an employment tribunal after her bosses said she had 'sold food without payment.' The compensation was settled out of court. Finch said in a statement: 'I was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct. I was accused of stealing food. The matter was trivial, in that I provided a fellow employee, who was purchasing a dessert, a generous sprinkling of chocolate pieces. There is no standard for such measures - they are always imprecise and will vary among customers. My colleague had asked me, "Make it a nice one." So the measure I gave erred on the side of more than, rather than less than, the mean.' Finch had earned one hundred and eighty quid-a-week at the Carmarthen, West Wales branch of McDonald's, where she had worked for eighteen months. Darren Newman, Finch's solicitor, said of the settlement: 'With the assistance of ACAS we have reached a resolution - the tribunal is being withdrawn and there is no additional mention of liability. The parties have agreed not to disclose any more information apart from that the issue has now been resolved.' The settlement also agreed that the former waitress will be given 'a positive reference' from McDonald's. A McDonald's spokesperson added: 'This matter has now been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. The Employment Tribunal case has been withdrawn. No admission of liability was made.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self remains in something of a jammy mood (check out the previous two blog updates - and, probably, the next couple of well). So, anyway, here's an everyday tale of class conflict.

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