Tuesday, January 15, 2013

His Master's Voice Owes Him Thirty Quid

Music and DVD chain HMV is to appoint an administrator, making it the latest casualty on the High Street and putting about four thousand three hundred and fifty jobs at risk. Deloitte will keep HMV's two hundred and thirty nine stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland open whilst it assesses the prospects for the business and seeks potential buyers. Trading in HMV shares on the London Stock Exchange has been suspended, HMV said in a statement. The firm also said that it would not be accepting gift vouchers or issuing any more. Thus leaving yer actual Keith Telly Topping with thirty quid's worth of useless HMV vouchers, something which he is God damn pissed off about. Sod the four thousand jobs, I want me bastard thirty quid back, y'hear?! HMV, which was started in 1921, has struggled against online retailing. The company's troubles underline the gloom on the High Street and come after a string of high-profile failures, including the closure last week of camera retailer Jessops and the collapse of electrical goods chain Comet last year. In its statement, HMV said: 'The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection and in the circumstances therefore intends to file notice to appoint administrators to the company and certain of its subsidiaries with immediate effect.' The statement continued that the board 'understand that it is the intention of the administrators, once appointed, to continue to trade whilst they seek a purchaser for the business.' The company has been in something approaching a financial crisis for more than a year, and on 13 December warned that it faced a possible breach of bank loan agreements, sending its share price plummeting. The retailer, whose first store was opened in London's Oxford Street in 1921, has faced intense competition from online retailers, digital downloads and supermarkets in recent years. As its debts mounted, HMV sold off parts of the business, notably its live entertainment arm and the Waterstones book chain. Last week, HMV announced a month-long sale with twenty five per cent off prices, sparking worries that the company needed to shift stock after poor Christmas trading. The Financial Times reported that the final straw came over the past few days when suppliers, including music labels and film companies, declined to help HMV with funding so that it could continue trading. Chief executive Trevor Moore joined the firm last year - ironically, from camera retailer Jessops, which has since closed. Maureen Hinton, analyst from Verdict Research, said that HMV was 'slow off the mark' when it came to digital sales. 'If it had gone online ten, fifteen years ago, it's got a very strong brand name, it could have built up a real presence,' she told the BBC. 'But at the moment if we think online you just think Amazon.' Neil Saunders, the managing director of retail analyst Conlumino, said he felt the appointment of administrators at HMV 'was always inevitable.' He said that although the HMV brand 'certainly has some value' for potential buyers, the current business model was dead. 'The bottom line is that there is no real future for physical retail in the music sector,' he said. Andy Heath, chairman of UK Music and director of the record company Beggars Group, denied that HMV had been 'slaughtered' by the Internet, but did admit that the firm had been 'wounded very badly. They haven't been in the right corporate shape to fight the competition of the Internet in the way that they should be,' he told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 'They've been operating under what is probably a bit of an archaic structure - there's probably too many stores, some of them are probably the wrong size, some of them are probably in the wrong place.' He added: 'I think there is a place for a chain but I think the chain needs to be focused in a way that HMV was unable to be focused. HMV was a legacy business operating under different market circumstances twenty years ago and it found itself in a place with leases and so on where it was unable to be as agile as it needed to be to survive. But fundamentally there's a very decent business in there.' Matthew Hopkinson, from the Local Data Company, said the HMV development was 'particularly worrying' for shopping centres. 'If you take it into account what we've seen in Jessops, all happening within one week, there are going to be some major holes in the High Street. And HMV, particularly, has some very large stores - and obviously over sixty per cent of their stores sit within shopping centres. So shopping centres will be hardest hit."
So, after that cheery start to the latest blog update - and yet actual Keith Telly Topping still wants his thirty quid back - here's the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Three programmes week-ending 6 January 2013:-
1 Miranda - BBC1 Tues - 10.47m
2 Coronation Street - ITV Wed - 10.08m
3 EastEnders - BBC1 Tues - 10.03m
4 Mrs Brown's Boys - BBC1 Tues - 9.78m
5 New Year Live - BBC1 Mon - 9.73m
6 Mr Selfridge - ITV Sun - 8.55m
7 Africa - BBC1 Wed - 8.52m
8 Twatting About On Ice - ITV Sun - 8.33m
9 Film: Up - BBC1 Tues - 7.91m
10 Emmerdale - ITV Thurs - 7.34*
11 Ripper Street - BBC1 Sun - 6.94m
12 BBC News - BBC1 Mon - 6.59
13 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 6.24m
14 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 6.22m
15 All Star Family Fortunes - ITV Sun - 6.05*
16 Casualty - BBC1 Sat - 6.02m
17 Z-List Celebrity Drowning - ITV Sat - 5.95m
18 The National Lottery: In It To Win It - BBC1 Sat - 5.90m
19 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Wed - 5.55m
20 Celebrity Mastermind - BBC1 Mon - 5.53m
21 Midsomer Murder - BBC1 Wed - 5.53m
22 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Wed - 5.40m
23 Britain's Brightest - BBC1 Sat - 4.97m
Those programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures. BBC2's top performing shows of the week included Queen Victoria's Children (3.40m) and Nature's Weirdest Events (3.38m), both including BBC HD viewers. Channel Four's most watched show was One Born Every Minute (3.27m), whilst Channel Five's was Celebrity Big Brother (3.61m). The opening episode of Borgen was seen by 1.33m viewers on BBC4 and BBC HD.

Yer actual Dermot O'Dreary has dressed up as The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry for a magazine photo shoot. Why, no one knows.
Damian Lewis will return to Homeland for its third season, it has been confirmed. Which is pretty good because, let's face it, it's not going to be much of a show without him. Executive producer Howard Gordon told TVLine that the actor will continue to play Nicholas Brody on the hit Showtime drama. 'He's alive so of course he'll be back,' Gordon said. 'One of the great challenges of next [season] is how he'll be back. But there's no doubt that he will be back.' Homeland's second season ended with Claire Danes's character Carrie Mathison helping Brody begin his new life as a fugitive. Executive producer Alex Gansa had previously suggested that Lewis's involvement in season three was 'an open question. We had a much clearer picture of what the first two seasons would be than we do of what the third season would be,' he said. 'Damian's involvement and [the actors who play Brody's family] is very much up in the air.'

Meanwhile, Damian Lewis his very self has been confirmed as a special guest for the nineteenth series of Top Gear. The actor, who won a Golden Globe at the weekend, will take part in the show's 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' feature. Lewis will be interviewed by host yer actual Jezza Clarkson and then take a drive on the Top Gear test track. Top Gear returns on Sunday 27 January at 8pm on BBC2. Features expected in the new series include a road trip across the US in the new SRT Viper, a Lexus LFA and an Aston Martin Vanquish, a race from Wembley to Milan to watch a football match, and James May rallying in a Bentley Continental GT, driven by ex-Mini WRC driver Kris Meeke. There will also be an Africa special where Clarkson, Hammond and May buy a station wagon and have to drive to the source of the Nile.

Mrs Brown's Boys overtook Miranda in the ratings as both comedies gained viewers on Monday night, overnight data shows. Brendan O'Carroll's BAFTA award-winning sitcom climbed to 7.27 million, while the Miranda Hart comedy took 7.11m. Earlier, with Panorama still off air, another evening appearance for Rip-Off Britain was watched by 3.44m at 8.30pm, while EastEnders performed well at 8pm. Meanwhile, Lewis remained a popular alternative for viewers as the latest run of the ITV detective drama continued with 6.12m. ITV executives will be pleased as the network's rebrand brought with it Coronation Street's highest audience of the year so far, which also boosted the thoroughly undeserving Cornwall with Caroline Quentin to 4.13m at 8pm. On BBC2, Winterwatch debuted with a promising 2.3m at 8.30pm, bolstered by University Challenge's 3.28m at 8pm.

The BBC's international news channel has begun broadcasting from New Broadcasting House. BBC World News began broadcasting from the new HD studios at New Broadcasting House at noon on Monday. It is the first English language channel to come live from the new building. The new HD studio features an open plan news studio with several large screens and a three hundred and sixty degree desk. Several cameras on tracks are able to move around the desk and studio at ease. Several new presenters and reporters will also be joining the channel, including BBC News presenter Jon Sopel who will present Global, a new weekday international news programme. 'BBC World News is kicking off the new year with an entirely new look and feel. From virtual reality capability to full HD production, new presenters and a programming line-up that goes from strength to strength,' said the BBC's Richard Porter. BBC World News first started broadcasting in 1991 from BBC Television Centre as BBC World Service Television before shortening to BBC World from 1995. Following an overhaul in 2008, BBC World became BBC World News and in the UK BBC News Twenty Four lost the Twenty Four from its title.

BBC Radio 4 is likely to prompt one of the biggest controversies in its history when it broadcasts a new version of Tony Harrison's expletive-laden 1980s poem, V. The piece, which was written during the 1984-85 miners strike, touches on political, religious, cultural and racial divides in the Beeston area of Leeds. The poem, which focuses on the author's reaction to visiting his parents' graves in a Leeds cemetery, only to find the graveyard littered with beer cans and vandalised by obscene graffiti, caused a furore - mainly in the Daily Scum Mail from some lice of no importance - when it aired on Channel Four in 1987. It even prompting an early day motion in the Commons from some tight-arsed right-wing bigots. Radio 4's controller Gwyneth Williams on Monday morning defended the decision to broadcast the poem in its entirety, despite its repeated use of words such as 'fuck', 'cunt' and 'nigger'. These words featured in the graffiti Harrison found daubed on the gravestones, which in some instances were sick racist taunts. V will be broadcast in February as part of a celebration of poetry on Radio 4. The new version of the poem will be preceded by a documentary about the reaction that it provoked in the 1980s, and will be broadcast between 11pm and midnight and preceded by multiple warnings about the language contained so that not even a scum-sucking moron with the brain capacity of a Daily Scum Mail reader can claim to have stumbled across it accidentally. Not that any of this will stop someone from feigning offence, of course. You can take that as read well in advance. 'The audience doesn't like swearing and I don't like it. I tell my children not to swear,' said Williams. 'But you cannot tamper with the integrity of the piece. We would never do it gratuitously.' Tony Phillips, arts commissioning editor at Radio 4, said that it was particularly apt to repeat the poem now because Beeston was where one of the 7/7 London bombers grew up. The station also unveiled plans to recruit its first ever 'writer in residence' and a one million smackers tie-up with London-based arts organisation Artangel to find up to five new public art projects. Unveiling a new season of Radio 4 programmes heavy on culture, Williams said she wanted to 'throw some fireworks onto the network – colourful, unpredictable, original.'

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Lacey Banghard (no, me neither I'm afraid) has 'heated up the house' (at least, according to the Sun anyway) by, apparently, going completely bare-arsed nekked. This occurred just one day after she was nominated for eviction from the reality TV show. The timing being a pure coincidence, of course. The page three 'sultry stunna' 'couldn't help' but expose herself, she claimed, as she attempted to cover up her various naughty bits after stepping out of the shower. Protesting that she had 'forgotten' her towel, Banghard then 'streaked through the lounge.'
As you do when you find yourself naked, live on national television. Well, we've all done it, haven't we? Haven't we?

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie beat her to death after 'a heated row over an overflowing sink,' a court has heard. The twenty nine-year-old actress thought it was the 'last straw' when her brother, Tony McCluskie, left the taps on at the flat they shared, the Old Bailey heard. The prosecution said that she wanted her brother to move out. McCluskie, thirty five, of Shoreditch, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering his sister. Prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC said McCluskie killed his sister, cut up her body and then dumped it in Regent's Canal in East London. He then led police on 'a wild goose chase' after reporting Gemma missing in March last year, jurors heard. Aylett said there had been 'tension' between the siblings for some time, largely as a 'result of the defendant's habitual use of cannabis - and its most toxic form, skunk. Gemma told a friend "He's permanently stoned. He puts a spliff in his mouth first thing in the morning and doesn't know what he's doing,"' the court heard. The prosecutor told jurors that on 1 March last year, McCluskie got up, went to the bathroom and then forgot that the taps were on in the sink. 'Unsurprisingly, Miss McCluskie was exasperated by this. She had had enough. Later, while she was out, her friends heard her arguing on the telephone with her brother about what had happened.' Aylett said the next day, McCluskie sent his sister a text pretending that she was still alive and ending 'Love ya.' Her friends had grown anxious about her and had not been able to contact her, he said. McCluskie replied to a text message from one her friends: 'She didn't take the car, keys are on the side in the kitchen plus we wouldn't know if she took any clothes [as] she [has] so many!' He then reported her missing to police who, from details given to them by McCluskie, categorised her disappearance as 'low risk.' The defendant also told officers that a former boyfriend owed her money and police should speak to him. Two days later, a suitcase containing her torso was discovered in the canal in Hackney. Gemma had been identified by a small tattoo on her body. Over the next fortnight, her arms and legs were recovered separately from the water while her head was not found until September. The court heard a man matching McCluskie's description and holding a heavy suitcase had taken a minicab to the canal the day after her disappearance. The prosecutor said blood was found in the boot of the car and McCluskie's father and brother 'no doubt with heavy hearts' said they recognised him from CCTV. The prosecution said it did not accept McCluskie's defence that he did not remember killing her. 'No doubt he did it in the heat of the moment, no doubt he soon came to regret what he had done,' added Aylett. 'He did everything he could to put himself beyond suspicion.' Miss McCluskie played Kerry, the niece of Ethel Skinner, in the BBC soap during 2001. The case continues.

Hollywood actress Natalie Wood may have had bruises on her body before she drowned, a coroner's report has said. Medical officials say 'unexplained contusions and scratches' on the forty three-year-old's face and arms led them to amend her death certificate. Wood drowned during a boat trip with her husband, Robert Wagner, and the actor Christopher Walken in 1981. It was ruled to be an accident, but the inquiry was reopened in November 2011 because of new evidence. In a ten-page addendum to Wood's autopsy released on Monday, officials said the actress might have had bruises on her arms, scratches on her neck and grazes on her face before she drowned. 'The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water,' Chief Medical Examiner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote in the report, which was completed in June. But officials were cautious about drawing any conclusions from this because several pieces of evidence were missing during the review. 'Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined,' the report said. The unexplained markings were cited in the report as 'significant factors' that prompted officials to change Wood's death certificate last August from drowning to 'drowning and other undetermined factors.' Conflicting versions of what occurred on the yacht have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died in November 1981. Wood had been partying the night before her death, and the coroner's investigation ruled that she had been drinking and may have slipped while trying to board a dinghy. The investigation was reopened after the captain of the boat, Dennis Davern, told US media that he had lied to police, and that a fight between Wood and Wagner had led to her death. In his book Pieces of My Heart, Wagner acknowledged that there had been an argument with Wood before she disappeared, but authorities have said the actor is not a suspect in his wife's death. Wood's body was found floating in a Catalina Island cove off the coast of California. Police reports said that she was found wearing a long nightgown, socks and a jacket. As a child, Wood featured in films like Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street and The Ghost And Mrs Muir. She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Rebel Without A Cause and for best actress for Splendor In The Grass, and Love With the Proper Stranger.

The Bachelor UK has reportedly been axed by Channel Five. Though, sadly, not with an actual axe. The British version of the appallingly reality dating show for numskulls is said to have been cancelled by the broadcaster after two series, reports the Sun. Rugby player Gavin Henson fronted the show in the channel's first series, while Made in Chelsea regular Spencer Matthews was looking for love in last year's second run. However, both celebrities failed to develop long-lasting relationships with the girls they eventually chose in their respective finales. An alleged 'insider' allegedly said: 'The show didn't do hugely well last year and Channel Five are now giving it a rest. But it is a good format and the owners have been sounding out other broadcasters to see if anyone else is up for taking it on.' The Bachelor is a very popular format in the US, and has recently began its seventeenth season on ABC. The format was purchased by BBC3 before being axed after three series. It was later resurrected by Channel Five in 2011. Henson's relationship with winner Carianne Barrow came to an end after four months, after she described him as 'boring, weird and spineless.' The owners of The Bachelor format are said to be 'looking at new broadcasters to air the show in the UK.'

The creator of the new BBC3 sitcom Way To Go has insisted that the show is about character and not controversy. Bob Kushell (who wrote Third Rock from the Sun and Suburgatory) spoke about the new comedy series, which stars Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison as a cash-strapped young man who sets up an assisted-suicide business with his brother (Ben Heathcote) and their friend (Marc Wootton). The US writer explained that Harrison's character, Scott 'constantly questions' his new way of life across Way To Go's six episodes. 'The scripts deal with it in a very delicate way,' he explained. 'The subject matter is really the background of what the show is about.' Kushell - who also writes for Charlie Sheen's Anger Management - added that he had 'never planned' to work in UK television, but praised the 'incredible shows' on offer. 'I think the BBC just got this show,' he said. 'They're so open to pushing the boundaries.'

A linesman has been punished after telling a Sheikh Yer Man City player to applaud the away fans at The Emirates Stadium. Sheikh Yer Man City beat The Arse 2-0 on Sunday, but many City fans boycotted the match after balking at the sixty two smackers away ticket price The Arse insisted on charging. Referee's assistant John Brooks was overheard suggesting to City defender Joleon Lescott at the final whistle that he should go over to the away fans that did turn up and thank them. He was heard saying: 'They've paid sixty two quid over there - go and see them.' Doesn't seem an awful lot wrong with that, frankly but, nevertheless, Professional Game Match Officials Limited promptly removed Brooks from this week's FA Cup match between West Bromwich Albinos and Queens Park Strangers as a result of his actions.

A porn study was reportedly abandoned after researchers struggled to find any men who hadn't been exposed to adult material. The research would have looked into the effects porn has on men, reports the Daily Scum Mail. University of Montreal professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse stated: 'The objective of my work is to observe the impact of pornography on the sexuality of men, and how it shapes their perception of men and women. We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography but we couldn't find any.' The researchers did manage to accumulate some data - for instance, males are often likely to come across porn aged ten. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping certainly did. Behind the bike shed. Men on average watch adult material for forty minutes three times a week if they are not in a steady relationship. Men who are dating unsurprisingly have less of an urge to consume pornography - loading it up 1.7 times a week, twenty minutes each.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a bit of EMI's old His Master's Voice Pop label. And, a probable indication of what most of the current HMV board are doing today. It's certainly what yer actual Keith Telly Topping is doing with thirty quid's worth of useless record tokens burning a hole in his wallet. Annoyed? You don't know the meaning of the word, dear blog reader.