Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sounds Formed In A Vacuum May Seem A Waste of Time

BBC America is to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who by showing one story from each of the first eleven Doctors, as part of a strand titled Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited. Once again, no prizes for guessing which Paul McGann story will be shown. The channel will screen one story each month, starting with the 1964 four-part adventure The Aztecs - a piece of cod-Shakespearean costume drama which remains a particular favourite of yer actual Keith Telly Topping nearly fifty years after it was first shown - staring the First Doctor, William Hartnell his very self. The story features the original TARDIS crew of the Doctor, The Doctor's granddaughter, Susan (played by Carole Ann Ford), and two of her teachers, Barbara Wright (played by Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell). The story sees the TARDIS land in Fifteenth-Century Mexico, where the crew become caught up in the local politics of blood sacrifice. The story has some very interesting things to say about religious fanaticism and, also, courtship rituals. Originally shown over four weeks, the complete story will be broadcast on BBC America on Sunday 27 January at 9pm.

The BFI has changed the date of its celebratory screening of the 1971 Doctor Who story The Mind of Evil. Originally scheduled for Saturday 2 March at 2.30pm, it will now take place on Sunday 10 March at 2pm. The new date and time supersede the details given in the BFI brochure, which had gone to print by the time changes needed to be made. It is unknown as yet why the date change occurred. Tickets for the event have not gone on sale yet so will show the new date and time, as will the BFI's website. The story, which has been newly colour-restored, will represent the Third Doctor's era as part of the organisation's Doctor Who At Fifty season, and its big-screen showing at the BFI Southbank will be its public première in its colour-restored state ahead of being released on DVD. Episode one of the six-part story has been 'colourised,' as the surviving print didn't carry enough colour information to make colour recovery possible. However, episodes two to six have been fully colour-restored. The screening will take place just weeks after the work has been completed by the Restoration Team. To mark the programme's fiftieth anniversary this year, the BFI is showing a story per Doctor as well as digitally-restored prints of the two 1960s Dalek films starring Peter Cushing, with question-and-answer panels featuring special guests at each session. In November, it will première the docudrama, commissioned for BBC2, about the show's genesis. Entitled An Adventure In Space And Time and written by Mark Gatiss, it starts filming at Wimbledon Studios next month. The first two events at the BFI sold out before the first one had even taken place. The second - a screening of The Tomb of the Cybermen - will be held on Saturday 9 February. The guests for it are yet to be announced.

Call The Midwife returned to BBC1 with an 'uge audience on Sunday night, topping (or, should that be telly topping) the evening's overnight ratings by a considerable distance. The BBC1 series set in the 1950s averaged 9.32 million punters and a 32.5 per cent share of the audience in the 8pm hour, the highest overnight audience for the drama thus far, and 1.4m higher than for last year's launch. Any concerns that series two wouldn't match the staggering popularity of last year's first series, following a Christmas special which was beaten in overnights (although not in final, consolidated figures) by Coronation Street, have been washed away as the show ranks as the BBC's most-watched of the week above EastEnders. Call The Midwife, which climaxed with nearly ten million punters, towered over ITV's risible Twatting About On Ice when the pair clashed between 8.30pm and 9pm, the reality show's Skate Off falling to 5.33m viewers at 8.30pm. Ripper Street was boosted by Midwife's lead-in, climbing half-a-million viewers week-on-week to 5.64m and securing a momentous victory over ITV's lavish Mr Selfridge which settled for an also decent figure of 5.45m in the same 9pm slot. There was, undeniably, a boost to Ripper Street from having Call The Midwife as its lead-in, but the real story is the one million fall for Mr Selfridge between its second and third episodes. One would, perhaps, have expected the snow that's currently covering much of Britain to have boosted Mr Selfridge yet, the opposite happened. Here's an additional, very surprising, statistic for you, dear blog reader. In the equivalent week last year in exactly the same slot Wild At Heart was watched by an audience of 6.6m. Before the year was out, ITV had axed it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, is it not? Earlier in the evening, Twatting About On Ice's performance show managed 6.96m from 6.15pm, after which 5.08m crushed victims of society watched All Star Family Fortunes at 7.45pm. Meanwhile, Blandings (5.35m) and Countryfile (6.61m) maintained solid audiences for BBC1. Elsewhere, BBC2's Masters Snooker final coverage peaked with 2.5m at 10.15pm although why anyone would want to watch grown men hitting balls around a table with sticks is beyond this blogger, while Celebrity Big Brother attracted two million to Channel Five at 9pm. Although why anyone would want to watch Celebrity Big Brother is, also, beyond this blogger's wildest imaginations. First boggles the mind, does it not, dear blog reader? Overall, BBC1 strolled to a comfortable primetime victory, its fourth Sunday in succession, with an average audience share of twenty five per cent - leaving ITV runner-up with 19.2 per cent.

BBC2 turned the heat up on its rivals with a Comic Relief edition of its big ratings winner, The Great British Bake Off, watched by nearly four million punters on Monday night. The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, featuring comic Jo Brand and alleged comic Stephen K Amos among the contestants, was watched by an average of 3.8 million viewers, including one hundred and ninety one thousand on the BBC HD channel, between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. The BBC2 show made a meal of its Channel Four opposition, which included new natural history series Wild Things, which averaged 1.07 million viewers between 8.30pm and 9pm. The Comic Relief special also had the better of the opening half hour of Channel Four's Embarrassing Fat Bodies, watched by 1.56 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm. BBC1 sitcom Miranda had its lowest audience of the series so far with an average of 6.4 million viewers between 9pm and 9.30pm – possibly another victim of competition from BBC2's Comic Relief show. Miranda was neck and neck with the first half of ITV drama Lewis, watched by 5.9 million viewers across the hour between 9pm and 10pm. But Lewis lost out to Mrs Brown's Boys, which followed Miranda on BBC1 with seven million viewers between 9.30pm and 10pm. Channel Four's highest rated show of the night was Dispatches, Secrets of the Supermarket Shop, which had 2.14 million viewers between 8pm and 8.30pm. It was up against BBC2's University Challenge, watched by 3.1 million viewers, also between 8pm and 8.30pm.

And, speaking of yer actual ratings, here's the final and consolidated figures for the Top Twenty programmes week-ending 13 Jan 2013:-
1 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 9.54m
2 Coronation Street - Fri ITV - 9.30m*
3 Mrs Brown's Boys - Mon BBC1 - 9.20m
4 Miranda - Mon BBC1 - 8.84m
5 Death In Paradise - Tues BBC1 - 8.20m
6 Silent Witness - Thurs BBC1 - 7.59m
7 Emmerdale - Thurs ITV - 7.54m*
8 Africa - Wed BBC1 - 7.52m
9 Mr Selfridge - Sun ITV - 7.38m*
10 Lewis - Mon ITV - 7.03m*
11 Twatting About On Ice - Sun ITV - 6.92m*
12 Ripper Street - Sun BBC1 - 6.54m
13 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.44m
14 Midsomer Murders - Wed ITV - 6.15m*
15 Blandings - Sun BBC1 - 6.09m
16 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.07m
17 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.86m
18 All Star Family Fortunes - Sun ITV - 5.56m*
19 The National Lottery: In It To Win It - Sat BBC1 - 5.54m
20 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.23m
Note: ITV appear not to have given BARB any HD figures for this week hence all of the audiences for their shows do not include ITV HD viewers. Let us also take a moment to celebrate Z-List Celebrity Drowning's inability to make the top twenty (it had an audience of 5.19m and finished twenty first on the list of the most watched programmes). BBC2's best performers of the week include Stargazing Live (3.28m including HD), University Challenge (3.10m), Qi (2.91m including HD) and Polar Bear Family And Me (2.85m including HD). Channel Four's most watched show was One Born Every Minute (2.96m). Sky Sports 1's Live Ford Super Sunday coverage of the match between The Scum and Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws (2.62m) bested anything on soft-core pornographer Richard Desmond's Channel Five, whose weekly top spot was Celebrity Big Brother (2.60m).

Colin Murray has been unceremoniously dropped by the BBC as presenter of Match of the Day 2 - because he was crap, in all likelihood - and is to be replaced by Mark Chapman. 'We'd like to thank Colin for his great contribution to Match of the Day 2 and look forward to him continuing on the show until the end of the season. He will continue to play a key role in BBC output,' a BBC spokesman told the Daily Scum Mail. Obviously not that 'great' a contributions otherwise they wouldn't be getting shot of him. Murray has presented the Sunday night programme since 2010. Badly. Chapman presented Channel Five's Football Night and has occasionally occupied the Final Score hot seat at the BBC.

Yer actual Dara O Briain and Jack Dee his very self are to row sixty eight miles along the Zambezi river next week, in aid of Comic Relief. They will brave crocodiles, hippos and rapids known as Gnashing Jaws of Death, The Washing Machine and Oblivion during their five-day challenge. Their group, which also includes former Spice Girl Mel C, the actress Chelsee Healey and DJ Greg James will be paddling for up to eight hours a day in dugout boats and canoes, with white water rafts to tackle the faster-flowing water. They will camp alongside the African river as they make their way towards the world's largest waterfall, Victoria Falls. And, hopefully, not get eaten by any crocodiles. O Briain said: 'When I was first asked to do this challenge, I did a quick Google search of Zambezi rafting but after the tenth page of people being instantly flung into the water I turned off the computer. But lives can be changed if people put their hands in their pockets in exchange for our misery so that sounds like a fair deal.' Yer man Dee added that he feared a day of training they have undergone at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in London was probably 'woefully inadequate. I have a sense that it's probably like having a go on the dodgems in order to go and do Formula One at Monaco,' he said. 'I suspect the difference is going to be fairly considerable.'

When BBC TV reporters are forced out of their newsrooms - with electric prods - to cover snow, ice, gales, floods and the resulting traffic chaos, those with longish memories may be looking forward to Tony Hall's messianic second coming in March with less eagerness than you might expect. For the merciless rigidity of the BBC's rules on winter clothing dates back to a landmark 1990s edict by its news division when Hall ran it: Moscow correspondent Martin Sixsmith, often forced to gibber reports in sub-zero temperatures from red Square, was told off for wearing a hat because it was 'distracting.' Anything shielding heads has since been a taboo subject at the Beeb, although on Sky News umbrellas go up at the merest hint of drizzle and headwear is sometimes permitted there, particularly if odious Kay Burley is in danger of getting a hair put of place. What's really distracting is the sight of a reporter getting soaked or turning blue because – apparently crazily, though in fact because of that long-ago decree by Hall or a Hall apparatchik – they've gone out without a hat or a brolly. Take the sight of poor Fiona Trott reporting recently for the Six O'Clock News from outside one of Heathrow's terminals who looked like hypothermia was about to take hold.

TV presenter and acclaimed academic Mary Beard has, seemingly, become the victim of a torrent of 'truly vile' abuse online of the kind that would 'put many women off appearing in public' following a recent appearance on the BBC's Question Time. Mary, professor of classics at Cambridge University, who recently presented the excellent BBC2 programme Meet The Romans With Mary Beard, said that the abuse followed an exchange with an audience member on the panel show on Thursday about the effect of immigration on services in the Lincolnshire town of Boston. The Question Time exchange – in which Beard cast doubt on some stories about strains on public services – prompted an online backlash and introduced Beard to what she described in her blog for The Times Literary Supplement as 'a side of Internet trolling that I haven't experienced before' and one that is 'truly vile. My appearance on Question Time prompted a web post that has in the last few days discussed my pubic hair (do I brush the floor with it), whether I need "rogering" (that comment was taken down, as was the speculation about the capaciousness of my vagina, and the plan to plant a dick in my mouth),' writes Beard. Mary provided a sample of comments from the website Don't Start Me Off (no, me neither) where she was also, apparently, named Twat of the Week. Many of the postings are aggressive and sexual in nature and include a photo of Mary's face superimposed onto a picture of female genitalia. Explaining why she is refusing to simply 'laugh off' such comments she writes: 'First, the misogyny here is truly gobsmacking. The whole 'cunt' talk and the kind of stuff represented by the photo is more than a few steps into sadism. It would be quite enough to put many women off appearing in public, contributing to political debate, especially as all of this comes up on Google.' Rather than being a misfiring joke the comments are 'meant to hurt and wound,' Mary added. 'It shows the classic signs of vile playground bullying – claiming to know about the victim, sneering at things they could not possibly know but claim they do, destabilising by using names in the thread that are those of your friends or even anagrams of your own, suggesting that they are watching you ... that's all part of the bullying repertoire.' She also suggests one method to combat these examples of 'brutal sexism' including flooding the Don't Start Me Off site with positive comments or even Latin poetry. Great idea. Sadly, Mary - a very nice lady who has previously corresponded with this blogger and makes genuinely terrific documentaries - has just learned a very valuable lesson with regard to the Internet. It's positively overflowing with effing bellends full of self-loathing and bile. They're quite a sight, really.
ITV has been put over Ofcom's knee and given a reet good hiding for giving undue promotion to a London hotel during the live shows of The X Factor in 2012. Ofcom decided to investigate the kerfufflement after The Corinthia Hotel was repeatedly referenced on the show, and also mentioned in glowing terms by the contestants. The media regulator noted that, during various pre-recorded sequences on The X Factor live shows, the hotel was mentioned in relation to eight of the thirteen acts. This included the eventual winner, James Arthur, appearing in an exterior shot with the hotel name clearly visible above, and then enthusing with fellow contestant, Rylan Clark, about The Corinthia. 'It's absolutely amazing here. I've never really seen anything like it to be honest. It's a million miles away from the place I live back home,' said Arthur. He's from Teeside, of course, so that revelation is hardly surprising. As everyone in the country knows, we've only just caught on to the concept of running water ooop here in the Grim North. After seeing their rooms, Clark said: 'Oh my God, James, it's massive!' Probably a reference to the size of the room. we hope. He added: 'There's a phone in the toilet!' The sequence featuring Union J involved the band entering the hotel, with its name, again, clearly visible, and then approaching the receptionist, who said: 'Welcome to The Corinthia Hotel London.' One of the band commented that it was 'a lot nicer than my house,' and another asked: 'Do you think the Queen lives here?' No, you very stupid young man. She lives in an even nicer place. It's called Buckingham Palace. Channel Television - the ITV-owned subsidiary which compiles The X Factor - confirmed to Ofcom that the broadcaster had not received any payment or 'valuable consideration' for the inclusion of references to the hotel on the show. However, Ofcom found that The X Factor production company, Thames, had entered a contract with the hotel which 'indicated that it had paid the hotel a reduced rate to provide rooms and services.' The contract did not guarantee the inclusion of references to the hotel in any episodes of The X Factor, but Ofcom felt there was 'sufficient cause for concern' to launch an investigation. ITV responded by saying that The X Factor live shows have always given an insight into the lives of each finalist, and previously this has been in a communal house. Whilst Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads told Ofcom that he could do whatever the hell he liked and didn't they know who he was? Allegedly. The 2012 series based the contestants at the hotel, and while ITV accepted that there were 'a number of shots' of the exterior and name of the hotel, it felt that these were 'editorially justified and not unduly prominent.' However, Ofcom disagreed. Strongly. It said that there was 'not sufficient justification' for the number of visual and verbal references to the hotel in certain episodes, and the cumulative effect of all the mentions constituted undue promotion. 'Ofcom considered that, in isolation, each reference to The Corinthia Hotel did not raise issues of undue prominence, in the context of establishing where the contestants would be living during the final stages of the competition, and conveying their excitement at their new surroundings,' the regulator said. 'However, Ofcom considered the overall number of references to be excessive for the purpose of establishing this. We therefore judged that there was insufficient editorial justification for the repeated references to the hotel during the programme. Ofcom concluded that the cumulative effect of these references resulted in the programme as a whole giving undue prominence to the hotel.'
The lead counsel to The Leveson Inquiry into scum newspaper standards and ethics, Robert Jay, has described the British press as 'the most unruly and irreverent in the world.' Now, tell us something we don't know. They're also, almost without exception, disgusting shit-scum and lice who, come the revolution will be first up against the wall. But, we digress. The QC also dismissed as 'scaremongering' concerns voices by a series of self-interest groups (and their Tory MP chums) that statutory recognition of a new press regulator would be 'a slippery slope.' Indeed. A slippery slope is what the road outside Stately Telly Topping Manor looks like this morning. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping should know, he slipped on it. Jay described the fears as 'capable of being overstated.' That's a nice way of saying 'a load of old risible bollocks.' In his first public address since the end of the inquiry, Jay - who became something of a national hero for the way he made various members of the political and press elite squirm like dogs during their evidence - criticised the 'prurient or intrusive tendencies' of tabloid newspapers which 'invade the privacy of individuals without a public interest defence. What The Leveson Inquiry demonstrated beyond argument, is that sections of the British press are unruly and that the basis for asserting that the press is under-regulated appears strong,' Jay told the Singapore Academy of Law in a speech earlier this month. He added: 'My impression is that the press in the UK could well qualify as the most unruly and irreverent in the world, and I have travelled widely; it is fearless, and it speaks its mind. To be described as "unruly and irreverent" would be regarded by most editors and journalists as a badge of honour, not of aspersion. Many would argue that these qualities make the press in the UK the best in the world, because the dividing line between fearlessness in holding power to account and unruliness in disparaging the rights of private individuals is almost impossible to draw.' Jay said that an ideal press should be able to launch serious investigations into 'the dark crevices of government' while respecting the rights of individuals where there is no public interest in prying further. It was 'somewhat pessimistic' to argue that a free press will occasionally intrude on the private lives of innocent members of the public, he added. Jay used the speech to back the key proposals of The Leveson Report into the future of press regulation, published in November, and said that any opinions were his and not, necessarily, the judge's. Although, they probably were his as well. 'I would not wish to sound complacent, but in my view in the cultural context of the UK, those fears [about statutory underpinning for a new press regulator] amount to scaremongering. I do not see any slope, let alone a slippery one,' he said. 'Statute can be both the servant and enemy of press freedom, depending on the cultural context and on exactly what it provides.' He argued that Leveson's recommendation of a new law to create an independent press regulator would not 'be anathema to the constitutional principles which a mature democracy jealously safeguards.' That proposal in Leveson's two thousand-page report has proved divisive for many editors and politicians, including the arsehole of a prime minister who set the inquiry up in the first place and then picked and chose which bits of its recommendations he liked so as not to upset his pals at News International and the Daily Scum Mail. The prime minister dismissed the recommendation as 'the crossing of a Rubicon' within hours of its public unveiling in November having previously lied to victims of press intrusion and harassment by saying that he would implement the recommendations so long as they were not 'bonkers.' Jay, predicted that another of Leveson's proposals – an arbitration arm which resolves privacy and libel disputes involving newspapers – would soon become the norm in the UK. Jay's speech to lawyers and academics in Singapore marks a return to the public eye for Leveson's chief inquisitor, who grilled David Cameron, Rupert Murdoch, Tony Blair, well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and dozens of celebrities at the inquiry. The speech will be welcomed by fans of Jay's often flamboyant wordplay, with references to 'metaphorical doldrums', 'inchoate' privacy rights, and 'a rough and ready rather than a Rolls Royce' system of justice. You da man, Mister Jay, sir. Stand for parliament in 2015 and I'd vote for you.

Meanwhile, a former Met Police officer and a journalist from the Sun are to be charged in connection with alleged illegal payments for information. Paul Flattley and Sun defence editor Virginia Wheeler will be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, prosecutors said. The officer was allegedly paid more than six thousand quid for information, including about the death of a fourteen-year-old girl. Eight people have now been charged in connection with the payments probe including well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks and the prime ministers (former) 'chum' Andy Coulson. The charges come as a result of Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard's inquiry into alleged payments made to police and public officials by journalists, launched in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. Alison Levitt QC, the principal legal advisor to the Director of Public Prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: 'We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that former Metropolitan Police Service police constable, Paul Flattley, and Virginia Wheeler, a journalist at the Sun newspaper, should be charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.' Her statement described how Flattley was allegedly paid about four grand in the form of cheques and two thousand four hundred and fifty notes in cash by the Sun between 25 May 2008 and 13 September 2011. At the time, he was a serving police constable with the Met, meaning he allegedly breached the terms of his employment. Levitt continued: 'The information provided included information about the tragic death of a fourteen-year-old girl, as well as details about both suspects and victims of accidents, incidents and crimes. This included, but was not limited to, information about high-profile individuals and those associated with them.' Operation Elveden runs alongside Operation Weeting, the investigation into alleged phone-hacking, primarily at the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World. A third investigation, Operation Tuleta, is probing the alleged bad and naughty hacking of e-mails to obtain private information by journalists. Some fifty six people have been arrested under Operation Elveden, eight of whom have been serving or retired police officers. Earlier this month Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn of the Met Police was the first person to be extremely convicted of trying to sell information on the phone-hacking probe to the Scum of the World. She is currently awaiting sentencing.

Finland and the Netherlands have become the latest countries to get on board with The Great British Bake Off, as BBC2's surprise - but, very welcome - hit show turns into a global money-spinner. Local versions of the competitive baking programme will be produced for Finnish and Dutch viewers, after BBC Worldwide - the corporation's commercial division - agreed licensing deals with MAX in Holland and MTV3 in Finland. This means that The Great British Bake Off has now been licensed in eleven countries other than the UK, including America (by CBS), France (M6), Australia (Nine Network), Ireland (TV3) and Poland (TLC). The Great British Bake Off will be known as Heel Holland Bakt (The Whole of Holland is Baking) in the Netherlands and launch in June. The local name for the Finnish version by MTV3 has not yet been announced. Alongside licensing the format, both MAX and MTV3 have acquired the UK version of Great British Bake Off for their viewers. BBC Worldwide's vice president of format licensing EMEA, Elin Thomas, said that each international broadcaster has put their own 'twist' on the baking show's format. 'We've seen broadcasters around the world put their own special twist on the format to great success, for example with the speciality cakes that are associated with different countries,' she said. 'Baking is a tradition that everyone can relate to so I have no doubt this brilliant format will only continue to win more fans around the world.' MAX chief executive Jan Slagter said that he was 'very proud' to bring the series to the Netherlands, where there is a long tradition of baking. 'We have a rich baking tradition; from Fries Suikerbrood [fried sugar bread] to Brabantse worstenbroodjes [a sausage roll speciality]. We want to inspire our viewers, so that the whole country will start baking,' he said. MTV3 head of formats Pete Paavolainen said that The Great British Bake Off is 'probably the hottest lifestyle format in the world right now. We've been following closely when it has triumphed in other Nordic countries,' he continued. 'Now it´s our time to also make it a great hit here in Finland.'The Swedish version of Bake Off, called Hela Sverige Bakar (All Sweden Bakes), launched on TV4's Sjuan with a 27.3 per cent audience share of adult viewers and became the highest-ever-rated show on the channel. Den Store Bagedyst (The Great Baking Joust) in Denmark is the most successful new format ever to premiere on Danish TV (which is fair enough since they did, after all, send us The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge in return), and the French Bake Off (Le Meilleur Patissier, or The Best Pastry Chef), attracted 3.5m viewers for the final. And, again, that's fair enough since they sent us Spiral. Made by the independent Love Productions, The Great British Bake Off has also proved a huge success on British television, with the final of the third series peaking with 7.2m viewers last year, making it the highest-rated BBC2 show apart from Top Gear over the past six years. The show - presented by comedy duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins - won Best Reality & Factual Entertainment at the Rose D'Or TV awards 2012, and scooped the Features award at the BAFTAs 2012. However, the programme has not been without some - mostly media contrived - controversy. In September 2012, the BBC sanctioned Love Productions for featuring Smeg fridges too heavily on the show. After a lone viewer (obviously with nothing better to do with his or her time that stir up some trouble) wrote to the Radio Times complaining of 'blatant product promotion' of the fridges, the BBC found that Love's loan agreement with Smeg did not meet its editorial guidelines. The deal was re-written for the third series and Love had to pay retrospective hire payments for the loaned fridges. The BBC also asked Smeg to take down promotional messages on its website linking the fridges with The Great British Bake Off. Smeg told them to smeg off. Oh yes.

Yer actual Lara Pulver her very divine self has said that she would love to return to Sherlock. And, so would about ten million viewers, frankly. Pulver appeared as Sherlock's great rival Irene Adler in A Scandal in Belgravia early last year, which concluded with Adler facing an ambiguous future. The actress is currently appearing in Da Vinci's Demons, but recently told Access Hollywood that she would 'love' for Adler to appear on Baker Street once again. 'The response has been quite enormous, to be honest,' she said. 'If the potential is there for the character to return [I'd come back].' Pulver went on to suggest that there would be a valid explanation for Adler to aid Sherlock and Watson again. 'She is alive. [Sherlock] did save her,' the actress teased. 'It would be an absolute pleasure to return.'
The Sunday People has issued a very satisfyingly grovelling apology to Sir Roger Moore. The newspaper has admitted that the actor did not make comments about his personal life to one of their reporters last year. So, in other words, they lied. In September 2012, the newspaper ran the headline I've had Moore women than James Bond and quoted yer actual Roge in the accompanying article. The People issued the following apology to the actor on Saturday: 'On 16 September we published an article headed "I've had Moore women than James Bond" which claimed that Sir Roger Moore had recently spoken exclusively to the People and made comments to our journalist about his private life. We now accept that Sir Roger did not give an interview to our reporter and did not make the comments that were reported in the headline. We apologise for any distress and embarrassment our article has caused to Sir Roger Moore and we have agreed to pay him damages and legal costs.' They failed to report what action had been taken against the reported who lied or, indeed, his editor who published the offending article. It is not the first time that the Mirra tabloid group has been forced to significant pay damages to celebrities as a result of stories they have published about them. And nor, in all likelihood, will it be the last.
When is a dildo not a dildo, dear blog reader? When it appears on Keith Lemon's ITV2 game show, Celebrity Juice, it would appear, after the broadcaster landed in very hot water with Ofcom over the pre-watershed prosthetic. The media regulator said that a trailer for the game show featuring the Leigh Francis creation, in which rap star Mister For Example briefly appeared wearing a large pink object strapped to his groin, was 'inappropriate' for a daytime audience. Or, indeed, for any audience with a brain in its collective head, must like the rest of Celebrity Juice's output. ITV begged to differ, saying that the 'common motif of a phallic object' had been a 'comic mode popular with all ages over hundreds of years,' Ofcom reported. Not only that, but ITV told the regulator that it wasn't, actually, a dildo. Oh no siree Bob. It was a 'pricket bat' used to play an invented game called, not unreasonably, pricket. 'The pricket bat was not a strap-on prosthetic phallus, which might suggest an actual sex toy, nor did we consider that it bore any close resemblance to the anatomical shape of an actual penis. It was clearly a large inflated balloon intended to provoke mildly bawdy humour.' ITV added, in some desperation, that: 'If it [the object] had been a strap-on dildo, we would obviously never even considered including it in a pre-watershed trailer.' Ofcom, amusingly, didn't believe a word of such crap and begged to differ about the trailer, which aired one hundred and sixty four times in a pre-watershed slot on both ITV2 and ITV4. The fact that it was shown one hundred and sixty four times isn't the most outrageous thing here, of course. The fact that someone sat and counted them, is. 'In our opinion, Example wore a strap around his waist from which protruded at the front a pink object which resembled an erect penis,' said Ofcom, ruling that the clip was unsuitable for daytime audiences. In other words, ahem, it's just not, as it were, pricket.

Mr Bonio out of The U2 Group has become the inspiration behind the name of a new species of spider. Biologist Jason Bond of Auburn University in Alabama named one spider after The U2 Group singer after discovering thirty three spider breeds, reports WENN. Bond apparently chose the name Aptostichus bonoi as he found the trapdoor spider living in California's Joshua Tree National Park. Mr Bonio out of The U2 Group isn't the only celebrity who has inspired the name of Bond's arachnid discoveries. The scientist has also named previous findings after Angelina Jolie, US President Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert and Neil Young. But not Sting. Which is fair enough.
A man has revealed that he is stuck with thousands of drug cheat Lance Armstrong's DVDs. Karl Baxter purchased ten thousand copies of The Science of Lance Armstrong for a quid each last year, before the doping scandal emerged. He had hoped to sell them for three smackers each, leading to a possible profit of twenty grand. Sadly, for Baxter, the director of Wholesale Clearance UK Ltd, who bought the DVDs from his supplier last summer, his greedy plan came to nothing. Ah well, you know what they say, Karl, you've got to speculate to accumulate. 'I don't know what I'm going to do with them now,' Baxter moaned. 'It's one of those things in business, sometimes this sort of thing happens,' he added. 'But it seems to me as though Lance Armstrong's stock is pretty toxic now. We are trying to think of a creative use for them.' He added: 'They will make good tea coasters, wind chimes or bird scarers. I could make a big tower or build a big domino toppling track for my three-year-old. I'm sure someone will come up with a good idea for them.' Landfill? Just a suggestion.
The world's largest television has been unveiled. The C SEED 201 has a sixteen feet-wide screen and is priced at four hundred and fourteen thousand quid - four times more than a Porsche 911. yer actual Keith Telly Topping, needless to say, hasn't got one on order. The TV is so big that it has to be kept outside. It is made in Austria by Porsche Design Studio who are hoping to sell twenty five sets per year. To stupid rich people with more money than sense. When switched off the television is hidden away but with the click of a button seven panels unfold from the ground, unveiling the two hundred and one-inch widescreen. The screen is made from seven hundred and twenty five LEDs which display 4.4 trillion colours and use biometric fingerprint sensors to stop just unauthorised people from using it.
The Scum's manager sour-faced whinging old gas-bucket (and drag) Sir Alex Ferguson had accused assistant referee Simon Beck of denying Wayne Rooney a clear penalty as Spurs came from behind to snatch a late draw at White Hart Lane. Ferguson singled out Beck for criticism after Clint Dempsey's late goal prevented The Scum restoring their seven-point lead over Sheikh Yer Man City. Which is most unlike him since he seldom singles out anyone for criticism, he just whinges about the manifest unfairness of life in general. 'It was a clear penalty kick,' he whinged. 'But there was no way the linesman was going to give that - he gave them everything. He had a really poor game.' This is not the first time Ferguson has had a high-profile disagreement with Beck. In 2010 The Scum's manager was furious when Beck allowed Didier Drogba to score from an offside position as Moscow Chelski FC won at Old Trafford to take control of the title race. On this occasion, Rooney went down after a challenge by the Stottingtot Hotshots defender Steven Caulker midway through the second half and Ferguson was apoplectic with rage that Beck did not flag for a foul. 'I am disappointed with him - we have not had a good record with him,' Ferguson told BBC Sport. 'With Chelsea a couple of years back, he gave onside to Didier Drogba and he was three yards offside. You remember these things because it is [in] important games and that was an important game today. It was a clear decision. And he was ten yards away, maybe twelve yards away from the incident and he doesn't give it. And yet he gave everything else.' The football authorities have, reportedly, asked Ferguson to 'clarify' his comments. Not that they will do anything about it once he has, of course. As Ferguson's recent, hideous and provocative comments about yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies being 'a wee club in the North East' proved, Ferguson can, seemingly, say whatever the hell he likes - no matter how calculated it is to provoke an angry reaction in others - and get away with it. Because, he's above the law. And then The Scum's supporters wonder why it is that the rest of the football world hates them and celebrates in any misfortune which may come their way.

Film director and newspaper columnist Michael Winner has died, aged seventy seven, his wife Geraldine has confirmed.

And so to today's Keith Telly Topping's 33 of the Day. Here's a wee bit of power, corruption and lies from The News. And why not?

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