Saturday, January 26, 2013

How Do You Feel At The End of The Day, Just Like You've Walked Over Your Own Grave

A new publicity picture has been released following this week's announcement that Doctor Who will be returning the BBC1 on Saturday 30 March for the first episode of eight in the next part of series seven. The image shows yer actual Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self. Although newly released, it appears to hail from a photo-shoot from last March when Coleman was announced as the new companion. So, not really that 'new', then.
One is pretty sure they're not in costume. Unless The Eleventh Doctor had, of a sudden, decided to start dressing as his predecessor once removed.

Diminutive chap Warwick Davis has described landing a role on Doctor Who as 'winning the jackpot.' The actor will appear in Neil Gaiman's forthcoming Cybermen episode (provisionally called The Last Cyberman, apparently) and had previously admitted that appearing on the long-running popular family SF drama would be a dream. 'It was a great thrill to be in Doctor Who,' Davis told SFX. 'A career ambition. But to be in an episode written by Neil and to have Cybermen in it, was for me the jackpot. I was one of those kids who hid behind the sofa, so I know they are scary. But The Cybermen that I saw were awesome and yeah, I think it'll be scary.' The Life's Too Short actor also praised 'amazing' lead yer actual Matt Smith. 'He's so full of energy and spark and imagination,' Davis said. 'You read the scene on the page and you think, "That's a good scene", but Matt gets hold of it and it's incredible.' Former EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite and Being Human's Jason Watkins will also appear in the Gaiman episode, which forms part of Doctor Who's forthcoming eight-part run.

Meanwhile another EastEnders stalwart, Adam Woodyatt his very self, is the latest chancer to try and use the press to get himself a gig on Doctor Who: 'I want to be an alien, heavily made up so people wouldn't be able to tell it was me,' he said in a recent interview. 'I think everyone of my generation would like to do Doctor Who because we all have something significant from the show that we remember from childhood. For me it was Jon Pertwee, The Brigadier and these giant maggoty slug things. I have this memory of watching it when I was off school ill. So it must have been repeated in the daytime. Or maybe it was the school holidays. I do like the new series as well, though - I enjoyed the Christmas special and I think Matt Smith is brilliant.'

Yer actual Alan Davies has suggested that more Jonathan Creek episodes could be on the cards. The Qi panellist was at the National Television Awards to pick up the award for Best Comedy Panel Show. While there, Davies discussed the upcoming ninety-minute Jonathan Creek special with the Digital Spy website, and suggested that a new series 'could still happen.' Davies said: 'I don't know about more episodes, but [creator] David Renwick's got a twinkle in his eye and I think he's enjoying getting back to it. While BBC1's keen on it, maybe we'll do more.' He added: 'This one's a really good one, it's a really good mystery - there's a body in a locked room and it's impossible to fathom - and then there's all kinds of weird corruption stories. You don't know what's going on, and who to trust.' Davies also confirmed the involvement of Joanna Lumley, Rik Mayall and Sheridan Smith for the new special, saying that the show is 'doing well for actors.' On being crowned winners of the publicly voted NTA, Davies added that Qi won 'because Keith Lemon was not in the category this year.'

Lara Pulver her very self has joined the cast of Sky Atlantic's forthcoming Ian Fleming biopic. The drama - which has the working title Fleming - will see Dominic Cooper play the James Bond creator and former wartime naval intelligence officer. Pulver will play Ann O'Neill, an elegant Baroness whose wartime meeting with Fleming alters the course of the rest of their lives. 'I am thrilled to be playing Ann, a real life high society siren worthy of Fleming's finest fictional femme fatales,' said Pulver. 'In extraordinary times Ann had the ear of politicians as powerful as Churchill and counted artists like Lucian Freud among her friends, yet was consumed by a torrid romance with the great Ian Fleming; a twisted and passionate love that would last the rest of their lives.' Also cast in Fleming is Annabelle Wallis as Muriel, a young girl who catches Ian's eye and Lesley Manville as the author's mother, Eve. Ian's brother - the celebrated travel writer and war hero Peter Fleming - will be portrayed by Hellboy's Rupert Evans, while the excellent Sam West will play director of naval intelligence Admiral John Godfrey - whom Fleming said shaped the portrayal of Bond's boss M. The final cast addition is Anna Chancellor, who will play the Admiral's secretary Lieutenant Monday - one of Fleming's inspirations for Miss Moneypenny. Fleming will be shot on location in London and Budapest in early 2013 and will transmit on Sky Atlantic HD later this year.

The Great Comic Relief Bake Off concluded on Thursday evening with 3.97m overnight punters in the 8pm hour for BBC2, beating BBC1's Waterloo Road as well as ITV's Nursing the Nation which interested but 2.97m at 8.30pm and Location Location Location's 1.76m for Channel Four. At 9pm, Silent Witness led the pack with 5.86m, outperforming the climax of Inside Row with Trevor McDonald which pulled in 4.16m for ITV. Celebrity Big Brother was watched by 1.9m crushed victims of society on Channel Five, while 1.54m watched The Genius of Invention on BBC2. Overall, BBC1 led ITV in primetime with 22.6 per cent of the audience share against 18.1 per cent.

ITV has defended its scheduling of Wednesday evening's Coronation Street episode following alleged claims of a National Television Awards 'fix'. A report in the Mirra - who, of course, never tell lies or make up quotes, no siree, Bob - suggests that alleged BBC 'insiders' have allegedly criticised ITV for allegedly shifting Corrie to a 7pm slot on Wednesday, allowing the Manchester soap to be broadcast directly before the live NTAs broadcast at 7.30pm. Voting for the Most Popular Serial Drama category remained open throughout the live show, meaning that Coronation Street was, the Mirra claim, 'fresh in viewers' memories in the final stages.' Corrie - which has regularly topped the soap ratings during the past twelve months - took home the prize on the night, beating BBC rival EastEnders. Emmerdale usually transmits in Wednesday's 7pm slot on ITV, but its regular episode was merged into an hour-long episode which was shown the previous evening. An alleged - though, of course, entirely anonymous and, therefore, almost certainly fictitious - BBC 'insider' allegedly told the newspaper: 'It seems ITV will stop at nothing to win NTAs. The stars tweet reminding people to vote - then they put a big Corrie episode on moments before the show starts. It is such an obvious tactic and not the first time they have played unfairly when it comes to the NTAs.' However, an alleged ITV 'source' (also anonymous, also probably invented for the purposes of a completely pointless and made-up tabloid controversy) allegedly responded by allegedly saying: 'These claims of a fix are just sour grapes. The best soap won and our ratings are better than EastEnders' too, averaging 9.2 million.' Yes, that sounds like exactly the sort of thing someone working in television would tell a tabloid journalist. Perhaps it was Roger Moore. Perhaps we'll never care. An official statement from ITV denied any 'ulterior motive' for the scheduling change, insisting that viewers 'expect' to see Corrie on Wednesdays. The network said: 'Last year Coronation Street was broadcast on Monday, Thursday and Friday but in 2013, it is going out on a Wednesday. Viewers expect to see it midweek, which is why it was rescheduled to 7pm to make way for the NTAs.'

Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is reportedly holding X Factor 'crisis talks' with ITV producers next week. The discussions, which will - allegedly - take place at Sony's London headquarters, will - it is claimed - 'decide the fate' of all four UK judges - Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger - for next season. Barlow and Contostavlos are both said to be 'facing the chop,' though Barlow may decide to quit before being axed in order to focus on Take That, claims the Sun. Cheryl Cole has also been touted for a possible comeback on the panel, with Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads saying that he wants to 'mix up' the show. A revamp of The X Factor has been expected this year, with arena auditions being removed in favour of more intimate auditions with the judges as in earlier series. However, contestants may then be 'tested' in front of a live audience before the Judges' Houses stage to see if they can perform before a crowd. The meeting will, allegedly, involve executives from X Factor shows from the UK and US. 'There are a series of meetings taking place,' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads is allegedly quoted as allegedly saying. 'All the Brits are coming in, all the Americans, and we're gonna make some decisions then. We're going to mix it up.' He added: 'You've just got to try to make a better show than you did the year before. And if you do that, there's a good chance you can get the numbers up.' Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads has ruled out the chance of him returning to the judges' table on The X Factor in the UK, as he wants to remain on the US version.
BBC1's daytime TV revamp after it ditched afternoon children's programmes has, as expected, led to increased viewing of the channel, with BBC2 and Channel Four the main ratings losers so far. The network's - rather fine - adaptation of GK Chesterton's Father Brown, starring Mark Williams, part of the successful new afternoon schedule launched earlier this month, has also been recommissioned for a second series. BBC1's audience share has risen from four per cent in the same period a year ago to 14.2 per cent between 3.10pm and 5pm, in the first two weeks since the new daytime schedule launched on 7 January, according to Barb audience figures. The two biggest losers are BBC2, with audience share almost halving year-on-year, from 13.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent, and Channel Four, which is down from 13.4 per cent to 8.1 per cent during the period. ITV's audience share has increased, by 2.2 per cent to seventeen per cent, assisted by the popularity of Dickinson's Real Deal at 3pm and the growing success of 4pm quiz show, Tipping Point, introduced last autumn. Liam Keelan, the outgoing controller of BBC daytime who has been appointed Sky1 director, said: 'The BBC1 increase was right at the top of our expectations. I am sure the snow was beneficial. But daytime is about the flow of programmes, and the move was also helped by Father Brown, which did incredibly well.' A Channel Four spokeswoman said: 'We have increased investment in new daytime formats as part of the ongoing creative renewal of the schedule.' A second ten-part series of Father Brown, the Cotswolds-based priestly detective drama, has been ordered. The first series, stripped across ten consecutive weekdays at 2.10pm immediately before the new afternoon schedule, attracted an average audience of up to two million viewers. Keelan said it had been expected that BBC2 would be hit by the changes. The channel has lost popular programmes, including Perfection and Antiques Road Trip, to BBC1, as it has switched to running coverage of snooker, darts, bowls and other 'sports that aren't, really, sports' in the 3pm-5pm slot, and become the place for repeats, as part of the Delivering Quality First programme. The irony is that the five million quid cut from the daytime programming budget has so far added four share points to BBC TV's overall share. Channel Four has been hit by moving the long-running quiz show Countdown to an earlier 2.40pm start time, and launching three weeks ago a new thirty-minute quiz show at 3.30pm, Face the Clock, hosted by Rory Bremner. But this has only attracted around four hundred thousand viewers, about half the audience Countdown used to get in the same slot. Because it's rubbish, basically. The ageing Deal or No Deal has also been steadily losing appeal at 4pm. The Channel Four spokesman added that the network was 'seeing a rise' in viewing by sixteen to thirty four-year-olds for Countdown and Face the Clock, and would be 'trying out more new shows' in the coming months. BBC1's new 3pm-5pm schedule has replaced children's programmes including Blue Peter, which were broadcast in the late afternoon on the network for more than sixty years, before switching to the CBBC and CBeebies dedicated children's channels in December. A CBBC spokesman said that there have been 'very few' complaints about the removal of children's programmes from BBC1. And, those they'd had, haver exclusively been from whinging old adults who haven't watched children's programming for forty years but object to change in principle.

Yer actual Keith Chegwin is set to return to breakfast television this year, bringing his allegedly 'unique' presenting style to Daybreak. Just one more reason to avoid Daybreak like the sodding plague, one could suggest. And, indeed, yer actual Keith Telly Topping is going to. Cheggers his very self, who previously appeared on GMTV and The Big Breakfast, has signed up to present the new 'Thanks Mum' segment on ITV's breakfast show in March. ITV said that Chegwin will 'do what he does best' - knocking on doors and 'surprising mums in their nighties all over the country with messages from their loved ones.' If that's what Chegwin 'does best' then, shouldn't there be a law against it? And, just a warning, Cheggers, if you turn up on Mama Telly Topping's doorstep, it'll be you getting the surprise - a punch up the bracket. In the early 1990s, Chegwin presented the 'Down Your Doorstep' feature on Channel Four's The Big Breakfast, using the slogan: 'Wake up you beggars, it's Cheggers!' During his seven years at GMTV, he knocked on hundreds of doors around the country and gave away thousands of pounds in prize money.

Sandi Toksvig could have been host of Have I Got News For You – had she not been a woman. But, she was, so she wasn't. If you see what I mean. Sandi was, she claims, on the first show in 1990, and BBC bosses apparently preferred her performance over Angus Deayton – but told her: 'We can't, possibly, have a woman in charge of the news.' Sandi, now happily hosting Radio 4's News Quiz, told Saga magazine: 'They should have picked me, because I never went down the prostitute and cocaine road.'
BBC Cymru Wales has confirmed that a smoking scene it believed to have been axed from Casualty was actually reinstated and filmed as intended. It was reported on Tuesday that production staff were unable to film the plotline at the show's Cardiff studios as planned, because of Welsh laws which prohibit all smoking in public places. Clare Hudson, head of productions at BBC Wales, had told Welsh National Assembly members: 'We had one storyline in Casualty warning about the dangers of smoking and how it caused a fire in a hotel but we could not go ahead with it because of the current legislation. And scenes in Upstairs, Downstairs were difficult to work around because we had to shoot them outside of Wales.' However, BBC Cymru Wales later confirmed that Casualty production staff were able to work around the anti-smoking law and film the storyline without issue, and had written to the relevant Welsh Assembly committee to withdraw the incorrect evidence. 'It has since been drawn to our attention by the Casualty production team that they found an alternative way of shooting the relevant scene. To be clear, no change was made to the plot of that episode,' BBC Cymru Wales said in a statement. 'The evidence presented was given in good faith based on information we now know to be incorrect. In the interest of presenting the facts as accurately as possible, we have asked the chairman to draw this to the attention of sub-committee members. We have also asked the sub-committee chairman for any guidance he can give on amending this part of our written supplementary evidence in light of this, and have expressed our sincere apologies for this error.' There is no exception to anti-smoking legislation for film and TV productions in Wales corresponding to the exemption included in English law. However, Welsh Assembly members are due to vote on a similar clause for artistic productions in Wales later this spring.

There was a deliciously wicked comeback from Channel Four, who had come in for a battering by the once Hitler-loving Daily Scum Mail over some of the jokes told in their Big Fat Quiz Of The Year. Thankfully, and very amusingly, the Scum Mail's considerable efforts to drum up a bit of Brand and Ross-style 'outrage' over odious Jack Whitehall and equally odious James Corden never really caught on with the wider public. Nevertheless, at the start of the new series of Eight Out Of Ten Cats, Channel Four's continuity announcer warned 'readers of morally questionable newspapers' that the programme 'contains comedy.' Burn!
Shane Richie is to host a new game show on BBC1. Reflex will see teams made up of three family members tested over five rounds in physical games based on speed and reaction times. Adam Adler, creator and executive producer for Objective Productions, said: 'We've been fascinated with the idea of doing a slow motion game show based on human reactions for some time, so we're delighted to be making Reflex for the BBC.' Richie will guide contestants through games ranging from having to react as quickly as possible when fired into the air and falling through balloons, to diving through glass panels. The most successful team will go into the final, where they can win up to twenty thousand smackers. Adler said: 'We're creating a fun and entertaining test of human reactions times, covered by bespoke, state-of-the-art super slow-motion technology as well as new techniques which will allow viewers to see things never before captured in a game show.'

The co-owner and moderator of the website which published abusive comments about Mary Beard has accused the Cambridge academic of using the row to deflect from her own comments about immigration on Question Time. He said that friends and colleagues of Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge University, had been 'trolling' his site, Don't Start Me Off!, which he closed down this week, by bombarding it with Latin poetry. Hardly 'trolling', mate. Res lepidus quod dolosus, possibly. If you don't know what it means, uses Babel Fish! The co-owner and moderator, Richard White, a Kent-based local businessman, gave a (very) qualified apology to Beard, who accused the site of carrying comments displaying a 'gobsmacking misogyny' earlier this week. White told the Gruniad Morning Star: 'If she is genuinely hurt I am sorry because we never try to hurt people's feelings. My suspicion is that she used our site to deflect the debate because she was so roundly thrashed after her appearance on Question Time last week. We do not go out to be offensive and it is true that a lot of the postings that were made you would see said by other people like the comic Frankie Boyle.' The difference there, young man, is that Frankie Boyle gets paid to be offensive and does it - usually - with some wit and danger. Lots of sub literates writing 'I fink [insert name] is a cunt' isn't, really, big or clever. Even if it's true. Which, in the case of Mary, it very definitely isn't. Mary said that the abuse followed an exchange with an audience member on Question Time last Thursday about the effect of immigration on services in the Lincolnshire town of Boston. White said that the decision to close the site – principally a message board which he has run for six years and which he inherited from a previous owner – was because it had become "unwieldy" and was 'impossible to moderate' after the Jimmy Savile story when it started to attract one hundred thousand hits per day. 'The Mary Beard controversy was the straw that broke the camel's back,' he added. White said that he had not noticed one of the most controversial posts – a photograph of Beard's face superimposed on to female genitalia – and that if he had he would have deleted it. 'I get a lot of aggression myself mainly from people I ban. We didn't allow certain words or people threatening to kill people,' he said. White said that he had been 'misrepresented' over the story and objected to the suggestion that his users were trolls. 'This was a self-contained site and we operate within that site. It was set up as a humour site to discuss issues of the day, it is meant to be like a pub where people banter and try to be funny. It is not a hate site – people go on to talk about things they love, as well as things they don't like,' he added. 'Trolls are people who go and abuse people directly in places like Facebook and Twitter and if anything she is the troll because she encouraged her friends and colleagues to flood the site with Latin poetry, which they did. I allowed a lot of the poetry to go up because I didn't have time to translate it. She came to us by Googling us and in a sense looking for negative comments. We never went to her.' White said that 'as a classics scholar' Beard ought not to seek to 'curb' freedom of speech. 'She is a historian and she should know how much blood has been spilt over the years seeking to preserve freedom of speech, which you do not give away lightly,' he said. He added that he did not make any money from the site and it would not be re-opening. Responding to White's comments, Mary said: 'I suppose all I would like to say is that, vile as many aspects of the site were, they did at least have the common sense to call it a day. And deserve some credit for taking that decision. It was clear to me that someone was doing some moderating, as some of the vilest things about me and others were sometimes removed – whether in response to complaints I don't know.' She added that she hoped the episode might be 'a small step' towards 'reaching a consensus' about what the rules of online community should be. 'I am not interested in legislation, and there will always be silly and hurtful things posted, just like there will always be silly and hurtful things said. We need to learn where the boundaries lie,' she said. 'On the question of milking it to cover up my unacceptable comments, quite the reverse I'm afraid. I regret that this stuff deflected from an important discussion of migration.'

Actor James Van Der Beek has criticised US television's reliance on overnight ratings, calling the system 'antiquated.' He made the comments after revealing on Twitter that his sitcom, Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, had been cancelled midway through its second series. The actor said low viewing figures were behind ABC's decision to cancel it. He complained that the current method of measuring audience figures did not take into account alternatives to live viewing, such as video on demand. 'I know most of you watched us on your own time and platform and that the competitive network scheduling game is irrelevant to you,' he said. 'But network TV is a business dictated by Nielsen ratings and while that's an antiquated business model, it's the only one they've got.' When the first series of Apartment 23 began last April, the pilot episode was watched by 6.9 million viewers, while the rest of the season drew audiences of between 4.73 million and 6.43 million. The second series began with 4.2 million, but had slumped as low as 1.73 million after it was moved to Sunday's from its usual Tuesday night slot. The sitcom, which features the former Dawson's Creek actor as a fictionalised version of himself, was pulled from TV schedules earlier this week, eleven episodes into the season. ABC had not commented on the show's future, but Van Der Beek later tweeted: 'Sad to say ABC has pulled Apt 23 and will not be airing the eight remaining episodes any time soon. We've basically been cancelled.' However the actor asked fans not to 'bash' the TV network for its decision. 'You've got to give ABC props for ever picking us up in the first place,' he said. 'They took a shot at something original and edgy. I respect them for it.' The show is broadcast on Channel Four and its sister channel E4 in the UK. Though, not for much longer, it would seem.
Yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Les Toon have added yet further to their French contingent by signing midfielder Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse. Sissoko follows centre forward Yoan Gouffran, centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and left-back Massadio Haidara this week, while right-back Mathieu Debuchy signed on 4 January. 'Moussa Sissoko will not go to the end of his contract,' Toulouse said of the twenty three-year-old France international. 'He found an agreement with Newcastle United for a definitive transfer which takes effect today.' Sissoko has won six caps for his country and is the latest Frenchman to take a place in Alan Pardew's squad. Before Gouffran was recruited from Bordeaux and Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier, Debuchy arrived from Lille. Sissoko told the Toulouse website that: 'Newcastle are a very good club, despite the fact that they are fairly low down in the standings at the moment. They have quality players and had a brilliant season last year. That is what motivated me to go to this club. I will get game time at Newcastle, and it is important for me as a player to play as much football as possible. I think Newcastle is the ideal club.' Joining on the same day as Sissoko is left-back Haidara, who joins from Nancy. Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Mehdi Abeid and Yven Rochild Victor Moyo are already at St James' Park. Pardew's side finished fifth in the Premier League last season but they are currently sixteenth in 2012-13, two points above the relegation zone. The Magpies have been hit by injuries all season and the new arrivals may help cover for the possible departure of captain Fabricio Coloccini, who has reiterated his desire to leave the club for 'personal reasons.' However, it subsequently emerged that Coloccini has agreed to stay at the club until at least the end of the season. Big of him, considering that he was happy enough to sign a four year extension to his contract as recently as last March. Thursday night also saw quotes from Bastia club president suggesting that Newcastle were the only side to have made a firm bid for Florian Thauvin. The midfielder who celebrates his twentieth birthday on Saturday is allegedly the subject of a two and a half million quid offer from United, with a fifteen per cent sell-on clause and a loan back to the Corsican club for the remainder of the current season. The President also confirmed that The Arse boss, Arsene Wenger, had 'been in touch' regarding Thauvin, but that the only bid currently on the table was from St.James' Park.

An Egyptian court has sentenced to death at least twenty defendants over clashes between rival football fans in which seventy three people were killed last year. The riots began minutes after a league game between Cairo club al-Ahly and al-Masry of Port Said. Blimey, they don't mess about this Community Service orders and ADBOs over there, do they?

Vladimir Tretchikoff's original painting of The Chinese Girl, believed to be the world's most reproduced print, is to go on sale in London. The Russian artist, who died in 2006, claimed that by the end of his career he had sold half a million large-format reproductions of the print worldwide. The portrait of a young girl with distinctive green-hued skin and ruby lips could fetch up to half a million wonga. The painting will form part of Bonhams' South African art sale on 20 March. Tretchikoff, who grew up in Russia and Shanghai, eventually settled in South Africa in 1946 and painted The Chinese Girl in Cape Town in 1952. His model was Monika Sing-Lee, then seventeen, whom he spotted working at her uncle's launderette at Sea Point in Cape Town. According to Tretchikoff's biographer, Boris Gorelik, the image - also known as The Green Lady - went on to become 'one of the most important pop culture icons in Britain and the Commonwealth in the 1950s.' Something yer actual Keith telly Topping himself once noted. Its popularity led to Tretchikoff being called the 'king of kitsch' - a moniker he hated, insisting he was a serious artist. The painting was bought directly from the artist by a woman in Chicago when Tretchikoff was touring the US in the 1950s. It has remained in the same family for the past sixty years. 'The combination of lustrous golden silk and the blue-sheen of the model's skin combine to produce an otherworldly glow: a luminescence that is the leitmotif of Tretchikoff's best works,' said Giles Peppiatt, director of South African Art at Bonhams. The work will be exhibited in New York and Johannesburg prior to its sale.

American Idol has been cited in a racism lawsuit which claims that black contestants were voted off the hit US talent show as a result of discrimination, it emerged Friday. Gossip site TMZ obtained a copy of a letter filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by New York entertainment lawyer James H Freeman which accuses the show of 'deliberately exploiting black contestants' to improve the shows ratings. The lawyer has since confirmed to the Gruniad Morning Star that the legal document is genuine. Freeman requested permission to sue American Idol and FOX on behalf of nine former contestants who believe they were 'forced' off the show because of their race and not because they weren't good enough. To sue an 'employer' for discrimination, a request to sue must be filed with the EEOC. TMZ named Corey Clark, Jaered Andrews, Donnie Williams, Terrell Brittenum, Derrell Brittenum, Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju'Not Joyner and Chris Golightly as Freeman's clients. In the letter, Freeman - who is obviously and manifestly not an ambulance chaser of any description - said that he 'noticed something was awry' when Jermaine Jones was kicked off the show in March 2012. Producers said at the time that Jones was disqualified because he had not told the show there were outstanding warrants for his arrest. Freeman also said in the letter that only nine other people had been publicly disqualified from the show, and they were all black. Freeman claimed in the letter that by asking potential contestants if they had been arrested, producers violated California employment law, under which employers are not allowed to ask potential employees about their arrest history. In the letter, he said that the show perpetuated 'destructive stereotypes' about black people by using their answers to that question and employing private investigators to examine their arrest history, allowing them to disqualify the contestants. He also said none of the contestants who were disqualified from the show were convicted of the crimes they were charged with and that the show 'never once publicly disqualified a white or non-black American Idol contestant in the history of the eleven season production.' Three black contestants have won the show, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks. Season two contestant Corey Clark sued MTV for forty million dollars in 2012 for their coverage of his disqualification from the show. Freeman said on Friday that he didn't know how TMZ acquired the letter and said he, the government and the contestants are the only people who had copies of the letter. 'I was taught not to litigate to the press,' Freeman claimed. To sue an employer under laws enforced by EEOC an individual, organisation or agency must file a charge of discrimination to protect the identity of the person filing the suit. The EEOC can recommend mediation and if that is unsuccessful, the problem is handled by an investigator. The EEOC may launch their own investigation or give permission to file suit. If the EEOC thinks the case has no merit, or a low chance of success or is not authorised to investigate it, they may dismiss the charge.

The Godlike genius of Wilko Johnson has spoken of the strange 'euphoria' he has experienced since being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The former Dr Feelgood guitarist said that the news made him feel 'vividly alive' - and lifted the bouts of depression which he had previously experienced. But Johnson told Radio 4's Front Row that he would cancel his planned farewell gigs if he began to feel sick. The sixty five-year-old revealed earlier this month that he was suffering from terminal cancer of the pancreas. He told Front Row's John Wilson: 'I noticed the symptoms a few months ago - there was this lump in my stomach. I treated it by ignoring it and hoping it would go away. When I went in for the diagnosis and the doctor told me "You've got cancer" it was quite plain it was an inoperable thing, there was nothing they could do. We walked out of there and I felt an elation of spirit. You're walking along and suddenly you're vividly alive. You're looking at the trees and the sky and everything and it's just "whoah." I am actually a miserable person. I've spent most of my life moping in depressions and things, but this has all lifted.' Johnson explained he was given nine or ten months to live and refused chemotherapy when it was clear it might only add another two months to his life. 'I just wanna know how long I'm gonna feel like this, which is absolutely fine,' he said. Johnson is due to play four dates in France at the beginning of February, followed by three successive nights at the Greystones pub in Sheffield. His farewell tour concludes with dates in London, Bilston, Holmfirth and Glasgow in March. But he admitted: 'If the cancer kicks in before that, then I can't go on stage. I'm not going to go on stage looking ill - I don't wanna present a sorry spectacle! This position I'm in is so strange, in that I do feel fit and yet I know death is upon me. I'm not hoping for a miracle cure or anything. I just hope it spares me long enough to do these gigs - then I'll be a happy man.' While admitting saying goodbye to family and friends was hard, Johnson insisted he did not feel down about his condition. 'I am a feather for each wind that blows and the wind's blowing me this way now. But yet I still retain this marvellous feeling of freedom,' he said. 'The things that used to bring me down, or worry me, or annoy me, they don't matter any more - and that's when you sit thinking "Wow, why didn't I work this out before? Why didn't I work out before that it's just the moment you're in that matters?" Worrying about the future or regretting the past is just a foolish waste of time. Of course we can't all be threatened with imminent death, but it probably takes that to knock a bit of sense into our heads.' Johnson, who also played with Ian Dury and the Blockheads and The Wilko Johnson Band, lost his wife, Irene, to cancer eight years ago. He admitted: 'I'm still prone to bursting into tears thinking about her, but I've never come anywhere near that thinking about myself. Right now it's just fantastic - it makes you feel alive. Just walking down the street you really feel alive. Every little thing you see, every cold breeze against your face, every brick in the road, you think "I'm alive, I'm alive" - I hope I can hang onto that. I've had a fantastic life. When I think about the things that have happened to me and the things I've done, I think anybody who asks for more would just be being greedy. I don't wanna be greedy.'

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day, we're back in The Jam jar, once again.

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