Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'd Build A Road In Gold Just To Have Some Dreaming

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) has revealed details of Doctor Who's upcoming episode Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS. The long-running popular family SF drama's showrunner revealed that the episode will contain 'great visuals' and that new sets have been built especially for the episode, Radio Times reports. 'We've built the rest of the TARDIS!' Moffat said. He continued: 'The idea is in the title; we're going to journey to the centre of the TARDIS. We've got some great visuals for that.' Ashley Walters, who appears as a guest in the episode, added: 'In our episode it'll be the first time people get to see so much of the TARDIS.' The upcoming series of the BBC show will also feature classic series villains The Ice Warriors as well as The Cybermen.

This is the last week of principal photography for An Adventure In Space And Time, with producer Matt Strevens commenting: 'It's flown by. Some big, moving scenes to come and perhaps a new creature or two.'Meanwhile, Waris met Waris as Sacha Dhawan caught up with Doctor Who's original director Waris Hussein whom he plays in the upcoming Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary biopic. The actor intimated that his time on filming was coming to an end, saying: 'What a journey through space and time. Loved every minute of it.' Additional photos of the two together can be seen courtesy of the Radio Times, published when the initial casting was announced at the end of January. Speaking of cast, last week Reece Shearsmith got to grips with becoming the Second Doctor: 'Tried the hobo costume on the other day. Oh my giddy aunt.'

BBC Worldwide have released a demonstration of how Doctor Who is broadcast in other languages from around the world as part of the promotion of the show at this year's BBC Worldwide Showcase, currently taking place in Liverpool. The video shows a clip from The Wedding of River Song in English, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German and Italian. And, very funny it is too. There's also a similar multi-lingual clip featuring a scene from Sherlock.

The porcine star of BBC comedy-drama Blandings, The Empress, has died. The sow died just before the final episode of the series, based on PG Wodehouse’s stories, was broadcast. The pig had been living with her co-star Queenie in the grounds of Crom Castle, County Fermanagh, where the show was filmed. Timothy Spall who plays Lord Clarence Emsworth, told the BBC he was 'very upset' to hear the news. 'She was by far the most flatulent member of the cast and believe me, she had a lot of competition,' he said. 'I never knew her real name, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a lot of affection for her.' It is believed that the pig had suffered a fatal heart attack. BBC executive producer Kristian Smith said: 'We were very lucky to have found such a characterful and humorous pig.' The Empresses next starring role with be between two bits of bread for somebody's breakfast.

An episode of the BBC1 drama Silent Witness which featured scenes of sexual violence broke the corporation's guidelines, the BBC Trust has ruled. The episode culminated in a scene featuring a prison officer attacking an inmate in a toilet cubicle. More than six hundred people with, seemingly, nothing better to do with their time complained to the BBC about the programme, which was broadcast last April. The Trust said that the scenes were 'too explicit for this series in the first hour after the watershed.' It was responding to a complaint from a viewer who had tuned into watch the BBC's News at Ten but was unexpectedly confronted with the scenes after the drama overran by ninety seconds. The viewer said he found the scenes 'extremely upsetting' and 'thoroughly nasty.' Yes because, of course, the news never features anything even remotely upsetting or nasty, does it? At the time, the episode carried a pre-programme announcement warning viewers of violent and upsetting scenes. However, the viewer said people tuning in for the evening news could not have been expected to have been watching earlier to see the warning. The scene in question - depicted as a flashback - featured a character lying in a pool of blood while his attacker was seen holding a bloodied stick. In its ruling, the Trust said that although the actual attack was not shown, 'viewers were left in no doubt that an act of sexual violence was being carried out.' It said that while the drama, now in its fifteenth series, was known to investigate the aftermaths of violent crimes, this episode was 'noticeably darker in tone.' As there were a significant number of complaints, it concluded that the scenes were in breach of the guidelines on harm and offence as they 'exceeded audience expectations for this series as they depicted a sadistic method of inflicting pain, injury and death.' In its response, BBC Vision - the department responsible for BBC drama - said the overrunning of programmes was a regular occurrence. 'Silent Witness overran the billed finish time by ninety seconds and the news was two minutes late,' it said. 'This is all well within the parameters of a "normal" programme junction and would not have triggered any extra editorial scrutiny beyond that carried out for the original schedule.' The Trust noted that although compliance procedures had been followed for the episode, it felt 'the wrong editorial judgement had been made on this occasion and this episode was not suitable for broadcast.' It offered an apology to viewers who had complained and to those who had tuned in for the news and had 'been taken unawares by the final scenes.'

For nearly twenty years it has brought BBC2 viewers the latest developments in the world of arts and culture, in various incarnations and featuring bickering panellists including Tom Paulin, Allison Pearson and Tony Parsons. But now The Review Show, one of the BBC's flagship arts programmes, is to be moved from BBC2 to BBC4 and cut from a weekly to a monthly slot – as new director general Lord Hall prepares to join the BBC from one of the UK's leading arts institutions, the Royal Opera House. Martha Kearney and Kirsty Wark, who share presenting duties, will remain on the show, which will be expanded from forty five minutes to an hour and given a peaktime berth between 7pm and 10.30pm. The Review Show is currently broadcast at 11pm on Friday nights on BBC2. The switch was part of a number of new arts programmes announced for BBC4 on Tuesday, including What Do Artists Do All Day?, a series of 'intimate observational portraits' of leading artists; Secret Knowledge, looking at the hidden gems of some of the world's biggest arts institutions, and Opening Night, about new exhibitions and events beginning with the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective at Tate Modern. BBC4, which celebrated its tenth birthday last year, is refocusing on arts and culture as part of wide-ranging cost-cutting measures at the BBC which will see it drop all of its drama programming. However, the channel is still investing in comedy and recently commissioned its first sitcom in front of a live studio audience, the previously announced Up the Women, starring Jessica Hynes. The BBC said it was increasing its spend on arts and culture on BBC4, as well as the number of hours it devoted on screen. Richard Klein, the BBC4 controller, said: 'Arts, music and culture have always served as the backbone of BBC4 but this year we're increasing our commitment to topical arts, introducing a number of new strands that will enable us to shine a light on contemporary arts, theatre, literature and film. With a series of discussions and portraits, we'll study the working lives of creative figures and explore single objects that can tell the story of the world's most interesting museums and galleries.' The Review Show was originally launched as The Late Show spin-off Late Review in 1994 and has been through many incarnations in the nineteen years since. It was presented by Mark Lawson until 2005, when Kearney and Wark took over, and in the early years often featured a regular panel of Paulin, Pearson and Parsons. After The Late Show's demise in 1995 Late Review continued as a stand-alone show in the late evening BBC2 line-up. It was renamed Review and made a short-lived moved to Sunday night in March 2000, before being rebranded Newsnight Review early the following year and switching back to Friday nights (where it can currently be found) and the number of editions a year were doubled to fifty. In its latest revamp three years ago The Review Show was moved out of London to the BBC's production base in Glasgow. Other new BBC4 arts shows will include An Evening with Joan Bakewell, ahead of the broadcaster's eightieth birthday and an edition of Timeshift presented by Rachel Johnson, former editor of The Lady magazine, in which she goes back in time to discover, appropriately enough, 'how to be a lady.' Great Artists In Their Own Words, a new three-part series, will tell the story of the Twentieth-Century artistic revolution, while Beautiful Things will celebrate "'ornate and exquisite art and artefacts that aren't considered traditionally beautiful.' Jude Law will narrate a documentary about artist William Turnbull, while editions of arts strand Arena will mark the National Theatre's fiftieth birthday and the centenary of fashion photographer Norman Parkinson's birth. The fourth and final part of BBC4's partnership with the V&A, Handmade in Britain, will look at fabric.

Plans to cancel the regular series of classic re-runs of Top of the Pops on BBC4 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile fiasco were ditched due to 'overwhelming public demand to keep them,' the channel's controller has revealed. BBC4 had considered dropping the archive music show because episodes featuring Savile had to be removed, along with any appearances by another former Top of the Pops presenter, Dave Lee Travis, who was arrested last year by police investigating allegations of historical sexual offences. The channel's controller, Richard Klein, said: 'There was an enormous response from the public. I got a lot of e-mails from people saying they wanted us to maintain replaying those Top of the Pops from 1978.' One of them, as it happens, was from yer actual Keith Telly Topping who demanded they they not drop the show 'just as it was getting good.' 'Looking at it, we decided we will not be showing either the DLT or Jimmy Savile fronted shows but that left us plenty of Top of the Pops to show. We decided partly because we have agreed we are going to do it, and partly because I felt it was right that these things be aired.' Speaking after a launch of BBC4's new season of arts programmes on Tuesday, Klein added: 'We are going to carry on doing it for the foreseeable future. If things change, we'll change.' BBC4 began broadcasting editions of the 1978 run of Top of the Pops just before Christmas. The channel has been running repeats of TOTP – a BBC weekly staple between 1964 and 2006 – for two years, beginning with a show from April 1976.

Sky Living has bought the rights to the US serial-killer drama Hannibal, featuring the Hannibal Lecter character from The Silence of the Lambs. The NBC series features Hugh Dancy as special agent Will Graham and the excellent Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in Casino Royale, in the title role as the serial killer most famously associated on screen with Sir Anthony Hopkins (and, before him, Brian Cox). Hannibal will also star Gillian Anderson, as Lecter's therapist, and Eddie Izzard, as an inmate at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, along with Laurence Fishburne as the head of the FBI's behavioural sciences unit. Sounds proper good. The drama has been written by showrunner Bryan Fuller, whose previous credits include Pushing Daisies. Hannibal is - loosely based - upon characters from Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon, a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, previously filmed as Manhunter in 1986 with William Petersen and Brian Cox in the roles of Graham and Lecter. Sky Living bought the series in an exclusive deal with distributor, Gaumont International Television. Director of Sky Living Antonia Hurford-Jones said. 'We are delighted to be adding Hannibal to our line-up of quality US drama on Sky Living. We know this is something our customers really love and we are committed to bringing them the best the US has to offer. This series is perfect for Sky Living because it will appeal not only our core female audience, but to a shared one too. Plus it will complement our new original commissions which are starting to come through.'

Channel Four News presenter and former political correspondent Cathy Newman has said that sexism is 'rife' in Westminster, but some of the most 'glaring instances of sexism' she personally has experienced were in her days in newspapers. Newman claims that she was once 'propositioned' at a party conference by the then editor of a national newspaper, who asked to come to her hotel bedroom despite her protestations that she didn't want to. She also recalled how, when working at the Financial Times, she received a sexist response when she complained about the higher salary of a male colleague. Writing in Tuesday's Daily Torygraph, Newman said the atmosphere in Westminster, where she worked for ten years as a lobby correspondent for the FT and Channel Four News, is 'more public school than public service,' but the only way to change the sexist culture is to have more women MPs. Allegations about the Liberal Democrats' former chief executive Lord Rennard are currently shaking the party to its very foundations, which is pure dead funny, but Newman said that it is not just Nick Clegg's party who may have a problem. She added that the trouble starts 'with casual sexism – throwaway remarks that might seem harmless to some, but which create the conditions necessary for the kind of behaviour of which Lord Rennard is accused.' Newman recalled how Barbara Follett, a former Labour MP, complained of Tory backbenchers who used to cup their hands under pretend breasts and mouth 'melons' when she got up to speak. Sarah Teather, a Lib Dem MP and former minister, once remarked that the atmosphere in parliament is 'like a public school full of teenage boys,' she added. Newman said she can vouch for the fact that Westminster is a male-dominated environment, reminiscent of a public school. 'There was the odd instance of sexism directed at me: the peer who sent salacious texts; the MP who assumed I was a secretary because I was a woman.' But she added that the worst instances of sexism she had experienced were while working for newspapers. When she worked on the Financial Times, Newman said she 'confronted a senior executive about the fact that a man who was significantly junior to me was getting paid a lot more. The executive asked me what I needed the money for, since I didn't have a mortgage or a family.' Newman said she laughed it off, but made sure she got a pay rise. More intimidating was an incident at a political party conference, she said, when a newspaper editor propositioned her. 'Slightly more intimidating was the time, ironically at a political party conference, when a man who was then the editor of a national newspaper started propositioning me in the bar, despite knowing I was in a long-term relationship, and despite my making it patently clear that I wasn't interested,' Newman recalled. 'I quickly made my excuses and left, as did the women allegedly targeted by Lord Rennard, but the minute I got up to my room, my phone rang. It was the very same editor asking if he could share my room because he had omitted to book himself into a hotel. I gave him short shrift, but the experience was intimidating and unpleasant.' Newman said she suspected sexism exists in all work places, but has 'the sense that Westminster is worse,' partly because of sheer numbers – there are only one hundred and forty four women out of six hundred and forty eight MPs. 'Get a lot of blokes together in one place, add copious quantities of subsidised alcohol and the fact that homes/wives/partners are far away, and it's not surprising that the atmosphere is more public school than public service,' she added.
A former Surrey police officer has appeared at Westminster magistrates' court charged with two allegations that he sold information to the Sun. The information is understood to have involved The Rolling Stones' Rockin' Ronnie Wood and the family of the ex-England footballer John Terry. Alan Tierney, a former constable, is alleged to have provided information twice in 2009 and been paid a total of seventeen hundred and fifty smackers. Prosecutor Tom Guest told the court on Tuesday that Tierney was charged with misconduct in public office in relation to one offence in which he allegedly supplied information as a result of his work at Surrey police to the Sun for seven hundred and fifty quid. A second offence was in connection with a witness statement he allegedly took in the case of an assault. Guest said that the charge related to an allegation Tierney contacted the Sun and provided information for a thousand notes. Tierney, of Hayling Island, Hampshire, was charged on 7 February as part of the Metropolitan police's Operation Elveden into alleged inappropriate payments by journalists to police and other public officials. Chief magistrate Howard Riddle sent him to Southwark crown court for a further hearing on 8 March. Two bail conditions were also continued including a ban on contacting two journalists at the Sun, Nick Parker and John Sturgis, and a James Hewitt, who was said to be 'related' to Tierney. A second bail condition relation to his residency was imposed. Also appearing at Westminster magistrates' court on Tuesday morning was a prison officer who is alleged to have sold information in relation to a 'high-profile prisoner' to the Sun. Richard Trunkfield was employed as a prison operational support officer at HMP Woodhill, a high security Category A men's prison in Milton Keynes, at the time of the alleged offences in 2010. He has been charged with one offence of misconduct in public office in relation to allegations he provided information to the Sun newspaper on two occasions, in March and April 2010. The court heard he was alleged to have received three thousand three hundred and fifty knicker for the information. A bail condition preventing him contacting anyone from News International was imposed. Riddle also sent him to Southwark crown court on 8 March for a further hearing.

An attempt to break the political deadlock over Lord Justice Leveson's press reforms has been made as an influential Tory MP leading the support for Leveson's plans swings behind the government's proposals for a royal charter to oversee press regulation. George Eustice, one of the leaders of the seventy five Tory MPs determined to see far tighter media regulation, writes in the Gruniad Morning Star that the compromise proposal for a royal charter drawn up by the Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin 'represents a basis on which we can all move forward.' He makes the caveat that the government 'needs to shift its positions' to strengthen safeguards 'to protect the charter from future political meddling' and 'ensuring that a regulator will direct the size and prominence of apologies.' Tory MPs supportive of Leveson have, until now, been silent during the inter-party talks, but Eustice's intervention suggests supporters of a full-blown statutory underpinning of Leveson's proposals may struggle to command a Commons majority, and as a result a modified version of the royal charter becomes the most likely route to political consensus. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said they are 'willing to study' the idea of a royal charter, but 'expressed concerns' that it could be undercut in the future by a decision of ministers in the privy council to abolish the charter and so the system of regulation. But Eustice urges compromise, saying: 'Time is an enemy in politics, so we must now make one final push for a settlement and swiftly convert what has been agreed into reality.' Letwin has proposed that a verification body set up by royal charter be empowered to recognise an independent press regulator so long as the regulator meets qualifying criteria. Eustice claims the qualifying criteria set out in Letwin's proposals are 'remarkably similar' to those proposed by Leveson. Eustice points out that the Conservative ministers have 'already embraced the principle' of statute to achieve one of Leveson's core aims. He writes that statute has been accepted 'first to create incentives for publishers to sign up to a voluntary regulator by introducing protection against exemplary fines for subscribers, and legal cost of liabilities for non-subscribers.' Eustice writes: 'The government now accepts the need for statute to achieve this and had published draft clauses which could be added to an existing government bill.' He insists agreement is in sight, adding that the press needs to be less defensive about relinquishing control to allow a genuine independent regulator to develop. But he adds: 'It also requires the government to put their foot down and make clear to the press that it is not their place to draft the royal charter.' The Eustice initiative came as the House of Lords also moved to compromise on its plans to impose part of Leveson through the unexpected vehicle of the defamation bill. Peers on Monday staged a partial climbdown in their clash with the government over the introduction of Leveson-style controls on the press. Ministers suffered a massive defeat in the Lords earlier this month when peers backed a low-cost arbitration service as recommended by Leveson. Peers voted to drop part of the amendment requiring newspapers editors to 'seek independent regulatory approval' before running certain contentious stories. The Tory former cabinet minister Lord Fowler acknowledged this 'went beyond' the Leveson report and that pre-publication checks were 'an anathema' to most journalists. The proposal was removed from the defamation bill without a vote on Monday. The bill now goes to the Commons, where ministers are likely to try to remove the remainder of the amendment altogether. There had been suggestions that the defamation bill would be ditched by the government rather than risk seeing the amendments passed. But the government is likely to have the support of Conservative MPs and possibly the Liberal Democrats who fear that the defamation bill, a self-standing reform, is being taken hostage by supporters of Leveson's report.

BT has continued its expansion into sports broadcasting, acquiring ESPN'S UK and Ireland TV channels business in a deal understood to be worth in the 'low tens of millions.' The telecoms company will continue to broadcast at least one ESPN-branded channel after the deal's expected completion date of 31 July, as part of its BT Sport package. However, ESPN Classic, which is not part of the BT deal, is expected to cease transmission across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The value of the deal has not been disclosed but BT is understood to be paying several million smackers to acquire Disney-owned ESPN's UK and Ireland business. Disney revealed earlier this month that it was 'exploring an exit' from the UK TV sport market after ESPN lost several big broadcast rights deals including live Premier League football. The ESPN operation will be moving from Hammersmith to BT Sport's headquarters in the converted media centre in Stratford's Olympic Park. All ninety seven ESPN UK and Ireland staff are understood to have been offered the chance to transfer to BT Sport. However, the future of ESPN's presenting team is unclear, as most are understood to have contracts ending in July. The broadcaster's Premier League coverage is anchored by Ray Stubbs, with yer actual Kevin Keegan as the lead analyst and Jon Champion and Chris Waddle commentating. Until the deal is completed, the service provided to existing ESPN subscribers will remain unchanged. BT made a spectacular entry into UK TV sports rights in June last year with a seven hundred and thirty eight million smackers deal for forty six live Premier League games annually for three years from the start of the 2013-14 season in August. The latest ESPN deal will add rights to live matches from the FA Cup (for the 2013-14 season), Scottish Premier League (until 2017) and Europa League and Bundesliga (until 2015) to BT's sports portfolio. The deal also gives BT access to US sports broadcast on ESPN America, including college basketball and football, and Nascar. ESPN will continue to operate UK digital media businesses and the broadband streaming service ESPN Player. However, like ESPN Classic, ESPN America is expected to cease transmission outside the UK in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. BT Retail's chief executive of television, Marc Watson, said: 'The FA Cup, Scottish Premier League and Europa League rights will allow us to offer customers of BT Sport even more quality live football, including our first games from the Scottish top flight and our first European competition rights. There will also be the best of US sports available courtesy of this deal, which will further broaden the appeal of BT Sport.' ESPN EMEA's managing director, Ross Hair, said: 'We could not be more proud of the TV channels built and nurtured by our talented team over the past four years. The value of that hard work is reflected in this deal with BT and the continuation of ESPN on television screens across the UK and Ireland. The same passion, commitment and innovation will be at the heart of how we develop our strong digital media business into the future.'
The Channel Four News anchor Jon Snow has described how he was 'abducted and undressed' by a member of school staff when he was six years old. In a post on the Channel Four News website on Monday, Snow said that the Jimmy Savile fiasco had 'forced him' to relive the incident from his childhood. 'This is a dramatic moment in the affairs of men and women; we shall all be tested,' he wrote. 'But don't underestimate what this time means to the abused. I know, I was six years old when a member of the domestic staff at the school, where my father taught, abducted me. He took me to his room and undressed me, and then himself. Thank heavens someone saw the abduction and eventually a member of staff intervened and rescued me. I remember to this day fretting over not being able to do my braces up. And I admit that I have found Savile regurgitating the guilt and confusion that I felt.' Snow first wrote about the encounter in his autobiography, Shooting History, published in 2004. He was moved to speak publicly about the incident on Monday in a lengthy blogpost about Britain's 'sexual watershed.' In the blogpost, he described how the aftermath of the Savile fiasco was having a 'vast effect' on abuse victims. He wrote: 'The swirl of allegation and denial that is filling the airwaves is forcing many to relive the abuse inflicted upon them. I know this in part because in a small way I too was a victim as a child.' The news anchor stressed the importance of treading with 'diligence and great care' in handling allegations of sexual assault. He added: 'No amount of effort in responding to complainants must be spared, but neither must it be allowed to become a witch-hunt. We face some delicate balances in which the welfare of many is at stake. But I suspect the journey has only just begun.' Snow went to Ardingly village school in West Sussex, where his father was headmaster. He said in his autobiography that the school's domestic quarters had a 'prison-camp feel' as he described the incident in 1953. Snow wrote in Shooting History that the man responsible was a member of domestic staff named Jim, who lived on the school grounds and had been released from a psychiatric hospital. The news host recounted how he was undressed by the man after going to his room for sweets. 'Suddenly I had no clothes on. Jim undid his trousers, and produced something which to me seemed absolutely enormous,' Snow wrote. At that moment the man was interrupted by a voice Snow identified as the school bursar. He left the room and was later told by his brother that Jim had been sacked. 'No one ever spoke to me about what happened,' Snow wrote in the book. 'Yet I can't imagine that the bursar didn't tell my parents. The next time he came to lunch he didn't look me in the eye. I felt something bad had happened, but I didn't really know what.'

One of the more curious details in The Pollard Report transcripts released on Friday was an appearance by Dame Janet Smith, the top lawyer called in by the BBC to probe the issue of how Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse went unchecked for over forty five years. She popped up at the end of BBC1 controller Danny Cohen's interview with the inquiry, admitting: 'I haven't read your statement.' Smith then proceeded to ask Cohen 'how long have you been at the BBC?' and when he answered 'five years,' she replied in surprise: 'As little as that?' She then added: 'In that case, I think I'm probably not going to keep you very long.' Then asked: 'Did you ever hear any rumours or suggestion about Jimmy Savile?' Cohen replied: 'No I didn't,' pointing out - not unreasonably - that he was a child during the majority of the period that Savile was on TV. 'Okay, I am not going to take this any further,' said Smith.

An e-mail from South Yorkshire's chief constable about the Hillsborough families' campaign has been strongly criticised by the police watchdog. David Crompton said the families' 'version of certain events has become "the truth" even though it isn't.' His e-mail, in September 2012, was sent just days before the Hillsborough report. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the comments were 'at best ill judged and at worst offensive and upsetting.' Crompton's e-mail to his senior staff read: 'One thing is certain - the Hillsborough Campaign for Justice will be doing their version. In fact their version of certain events has become "the truth" even though it isn't! I just have the feeling that the media "machine" favours the families and not us, so we need to be a bit more innovative in our response to have a fighting chance otherwise we will just be roadkill.' The internal e-mail, which came to light following a Freedom of Information request, was sent as part of South Yorkshire Police's preparations for the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report last year. When the report was published, it provoked widespread condemnation of the force's response to the disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in April 1989, which left ninety six Liverpool fans dead. South Yorkshire Police's response to the tragedy is, currently, subject to a major inquiry by the IPCC. In a brief statement on Tuesday, South Yorkshire Police said: 'The chief constable apologises for this e-mail and the force continues to give its full support to the ongoing inquiries.' This followed an apology from Crompton last week when he said he had not intended 'to challenge the integrity and views of those who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster.' Last month, the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Yorkshire, Shaun Wright, wrote to the IPCC when he was 'made aware' of the e-mail. IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said he had now written to the chief constable to 'express his concerns' about the content. He said: 'Families and individuals affected by the Hillsborough tragedy, along with the wider public, will rightly be concerned over the apparent attitude displayed by this communication within the highest ranks of the force which is currently under investigation in relation to the actions of its officers and staff around the disaster.' But Long said that while the e-mails 'have serious implications for public confidence' they do not, in and of themselves, amount to recordable conduct and the IPCC does not require a formal referral. He said he had told Wright it was his responsibility to decide what further action was appropriate.

An alleged BBC 'whistleblower' who claimed that he was 'threatened with prison' for contacting the media has denied his allegations were 'fiction.' Byron Myers, a former head of human resources at BBC Studios and Post Production, one if its commercial subsidiaries, was accused by the corporation's QC, Casper Glyn, of using the privilege of an employment tribunal to besmirch the reputation of senior staff. Glyn said: 'You manipulated, lied and deceived other people to create a fictional set of allegations.' Australian-born Myers told the hearing in Watford on Monday: 'You are entitled to your opinion, but it is wrong.' He is claiming unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal and breach of contract, setting out a number of grievances against his bosses and the senior figure who investigated his claims. Myers claims that BBC manager Craig White was signing off payments to studio staff supplied by private firms, one of which was run by his girlfriend, Jane Fleury, the managing director of First Positions. When he reported his suspicions, in 2011, he said there was a cover-up. In 2012, he went to the Daily Scum Mail, which published an article. After that Myers said the BBC responded by threatening him with 'a prison sentence' for leaking information. Myers, who was paid seven seven grand a year, also alleges that he was 'bullied' to the point where he was 'made ill' when he raised concerns about the way a pregnant woman, manager Katy Child, was being treated. After Child had put forward a job share proposal, Myers' boss, Mark Thomas, is alleged to have said: 'That bitch has had every guy in here wrapped around her finger.' Myers claimed Thomas told him he would not support Child's job-share request 'because he believed that women with child-caring responsibilities should not hold senior management positions.' In addition, he claimed Thomas belittled and humiliated him in front of work colleagues and spread a rumour that he was 'on his way out.' In the course of Monday's hearing, Glyn put it to Myers that he was 'lying to the tribunal' by making up false conversations to bolster his claims. Glyn said: 'You are cutting allegations to fit the cloth of your case.' Myers replied: 'No.' The tribunal panel was told that Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland, investigated Myers' claims and found that there was no case to answer. Glyn said MacQuarrie had been responsible for a damning investigation into Newsnight. He put it to Myers: 'Is Mr MacQuarrie a patsy who does not do things seriously?' Myers replied: 'He missed key corroborating evidence.' The tribunal continues.

Vulcan has topped a public vote to name two recently discovered moons of Pluto. The choice will delight Star Trek fans; Vulcan is, of course, the home planet of Mister Spock, the science officer on the Starship Enterprise. The name had originally been suggested by William Shatner, the actor who portrayed Captain Kirk in the series and several spin-off films. It was also once used as the name of a planet in Doctor Who in 1966 at a few week after Star Trek began in America. More than four hundred and fifty thousand people voted in an online poll run by the Seti institute. The California-based organisation - which searches for intelligent life in the Universe - and Doctor Mark Showalter, who led the teams that discovered the two moons, offered voters a choice of twenty one possible names. Currently, Pluto's two newly discovered moons - spotted in 2011 and 2012 - are known as P4 and P5. Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Spock, had previously tweeted that Vulcan was the 'logical choice.' To be fair, the name Vulcan does satisfy one of the main criteria in naming celestial bodies in that it has an association with ancient myth (Vulcan was the Roman God of fire). The vote ended on Monday, with Vulcan finishing in the lead by a margin of about fifty thousand votes. The second-most-popular choice was Cerberus, the name of the multiple-headed dog which guards the gates to the Underworld in Greek myth. Both of these names will be taken to the International Astronomical Union, the body responsible for naming planetary objects. In 2006, it held a controversial vote that resulted in Pluto being stripped of its status as a planet. The icy body was subsequently reclassified as a 'dwarf planet.' It already has three named moons, Charon (named after the ferryman who ferried the dead to the underworld), Hydra (the nine-headed serpent which battled Hercules in Greco-Roman Mythology) and Nix. Named after Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Probably.

Mo Farah's double gold medal success at the 2012 Olympics made the athlete – and his 'Mobot' victory sign – a global phenomenon: everywhere, it seems, apart from one TV station in New Orleans. After winning the city's Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon on Sunday, Farah was asked by WSDU presenter LaTonya Norton if he had ever run before. In the two-minute interview following the race, Farah was at first bemused when the presenter asked: 'Now haven't you run before?' Norton repeated the question again, asking, 'Haven't you run before? This isn't your first time?' Farah broke into a smile and replied that he had run a half-marathon before, but that this was his first time running in New Orleans. Norton, a reporter at the TV station since 2006, then congratulated Farah for winning the half-marathon and getting 'off to a great start' in his attempt to run longer distances. 'Do you have any other races coming up?' she added. Not once during the interview did Norton note Farah's five and ten thousand metres gold medal success at the London Olympics, only ever referring to him as the male winner of Sunday's half-marathon. A 'source' from Farah's agency said that they believed it was a 'a case of not knowing who they were talking to.' A producer at WSDU said that the recording had been 'taken out of context.' The Hearst-owned news station said that Norton 'knew he was an Olympian.' Norton, the producer explained, had been asking Farah not whether he had run at all, but whether this was his first time pounding the pavement in New Orleans. However, in an official statement WSDU management issued an apology: 'We regret our unfortunate phrasing of questions posed to Mr Mo Farah following his impressive victory in this past weekend's Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon in New Orleans and for not acknowledging his status as an Olympic champion. We express our sincere apology to Mr Farah and his many fans who may have been offended by our error. We hope that Mr Farah will have occasion to visit New Orleans again and that we may have the opportunity to apologise in person.'

And so, dear blog reader it's time for yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, trust yer actual Keith Telly Topping, it's an absolute corker today. Here's Clem Burke's finest three minutes and two seconds.

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