Friday, March 08, 2013

The Hazy Days, The Random Ways

We start today's bloggerisationisms from Stately Telly Topping Manor with some reet good news. Yer actual Martin Freeman his very self confirmed on Graham Norton's Comic Relief Big Chat on Thursday night that series three of Sherlock will begin filming in approximately two weeks' time. Martin confirmed that he would return to his role as John Watson 'the week after next.' When asked whether he had read the script for the opening episode, Martin replied: 'Yes, it's brilliant.' However, the actor remained somewhat coy about what is in store for the characters after the huge cliffhanger at the end of series two's The Reichenbach Fall. Asked by Graham Norton whether he knew how Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes had survived at the end of the last series, Martin said: 'Do you know what? No! Even on reading the script we aren't quite sure. Mark Gatiss is a clever fellow.' He is, indeed, that. At last year's Edinburgh TV Festival, Sherlock creators Gattis and The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) revealed the clues 'Rat', 'Wedding' and 'Bow' as hints for what Arthur Conan Doyle stories the third series will be based on. The opening episode is expected to be, at least partly, an adapatation of The Adventure of the Empty House the story in which Doyle resurrected Holmes having, apparently, killed him off in The Final Problem. The third series of Sherlock is expected to broadcast on BBC1 later this year.

BBC Worldwide has announced a special Doctor Who convention to mark the show's fiftieth anniversary. The - not very imaginatively titled - Doctor Who Fiftieth Celebration Weekend will be held at ExCeL in London, beginning on Friday 22 November. Tickets for over fifteen thousand fans will be available, with prices, booking information and guest info to be revealed in the near future. It'll probably be expensive, however so if you're thinking of going, I'd check with either your bank manager or Wonga about a loan. The three-day event will take in Doctor Who's golden anniversary on Saturday 23 November. Amanda Hill, Chief Brands Officer at BBC Worldwide, said: 'Generations of fans young and old have been captivated by The Doctor and we've seen Doctor Who go from strength to strength, enjoying something of a global march over the past few years attracting new followers from Turkey to Brazil to South Korea. This year-long celebration is an opportunity for fans around the world to come together and celebrate the glorious past, present and future of Doctor Who.' Eight new episodes of Doctor Who will be shown on Saturday nights from 30 March, with a number of additional projects also being planned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary later in 2013.

BBC1's Mayday concluded on Thursday night with increased overnight ratings for its finale. The fifth episode of the strip-scheduled crime drama climbed to an overnight audience of 4.64 million in the 9pm slot. Earlier in the evening at 8pm, Waterloo Road was watched by 4.02 million. On ITV, the UEFA Europa League coverage picked up 4.05 million for the Stottingtot Hotshots versus Inter Milan first leg. BBC2's The Planners was watched by 1.60 million at 8pm, while How To Get To Heaven With The Hutterites had an audience of 1.36 million at 9pm. Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe ended with eight hundred thousand punters at 10pm.

Ant and/dor Dec have revealed a secret about how they got' accidentally locked in a steam room' with fellow TV presenter Holly Willoughby. But, to be honest, we don't really want to hear the story, it's enough simply to have that image stuck in our heads. Next ...
The Liberal Democrats are embroiled in yet more allegations of cover-up shenanigans and malarkey after a series of leaked e-mails claimed that senior party figures were 'told privately' that the former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne had been a very naughty man and broken the law months before his speeding point swapping allegations became public. Huhne's ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, claimed to have told Nick Clegg's wife, Miriam, two senior Lib Dem politicians and some of Clegg aides that the former Energy Secretary had illegally evaded a driving ban nearly a decade earlier while he was campaigning for his first Westminster seat. Pryce, a former government economist, claims that she informed a 'horrified' Vince Cable, once her boss as Business Secretary, and Lord Oakeshott, the party's former Treasury spokesman, according to e-mails which were published after Pryce was found extremely guilty of perverting the course of justice on Thursday. The verdict marks the low point for a once-glittering couple brought down to the gutter by an overwhelming avalanche of lies, ambition, infidelity and a naked thirst for revenge which has torn their family apart and is likely to end with both of them doing considerable bird. The trial judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told a visibly-shocked Pryce of the 'inevitable consequences' of such a conviction and that she should prepare herself for a lengthy stretch at Her Majesty's. E-mails between Pryce and a journalist whom she snitched up the story to like a Copper's Nark detailed her determined two-pronged strategy to take revenge on the man who had left her after twenty six years of marriage for his press adviser Carina Trimingham by leaking the story both to newspapers and to his most influential party colleagues. The party now faces demands to reveal exactly what they knew and exactly when they conveniently forgot knowing about the allegations against Huhne and what action they took or, indeed, didn't take. As the case may be. However, Clegg and the other Lib Dems dispute Pryce's version of events, insisting that they were not told about Huhne's behaviour. Pryce's claim is a fresh headache for the Lib Dems after Clegg and other officials repeatedly changed their stories concerning Lord Rennard, the party's former chief executive, who is currently the subject of an internal inquiry over allegations that he sexually harassed a number of women party activists. Allegations which Rennard strongly denies. Despite damaging claims of a cover-up and inaction, the party last week retained Huhne's former seat of Eastleigh in a by-election, one which saw their Conservative coalition partners pushed into third place. The extent of the Lib Dems' apparent knowledge of Huhne's apparent nefarious skulduggery was seemingly laid out on 26 April 2011, less than two weeks before The Sunday Times first wrote about the point-swapping allegations. The stories eventually sparked a police inquiry and Huhne's eventual resignation from the Cabinet nine months later- whilst still continuing to deny he had done anything wrong. Denials which came to pieces in his hands like so much wet cardboard when, just before his trial was about to start, he changed his story and admitted his guilt. In an e-mail to Pryce, the paper's political editor, Isabel Oakeshott, wrote: 'Can I say that a number of [Huhne's] "allies," including Cable, are aware of the situation? To what extent is Clegg aware that something is hanging over Huhne? (you mentioned it to Miriam, Nick Clegg's wife, didn't you?)' Within forty five minutes, Pryce wrote back: 'Yes, I have told VC, Miriam C, MOak [Lord Oakeshott] and a few other Lib Dem Lords and others working close to NC [Nick Clegg].' Pryce claimed that she had told the Business Secretary two months before the story first broke. Cable remained her close ally after the break-up of the marriage in 2010 and she accompanied him to his first speech as a Minister to the party’s conference. In an e-mail to Ms Oakeshott dated 9 April 2011 – a month before the story first appeared – Pryce wrote: 'Actually I had told Vince and Rachel [his wife] about points before when the three of us were having supper about a month ago – they were horrified at the time but VC has probably forgotten it now. He was very tired that night.' Nine days later, Pryce revealed that she was having lunch with Nick Clegg's wife the following day and asked whether she should hint at the story. 'I told Vince there is something hanging over [Huhne] and he wanted to tell Clegg,' she wrote. 'I can say am being pestered by the press about something he did which CT [Carina Trimingham] let slip and which I know is true but have been protecting him so far but he has been such a shit not sure I can do it any longer. I am inclined to chance it but not disclose what it is.' Pryce first met Isabel Oakeshott at the 2010 Liberal Democrat party conference following the ugly break-up of her marriage. They regularly exchanged e-mails after 1 March the following year after they had lunch together at Christopher's, an American restaurant in Covent Garden. Pryce told the journalist about the point swapping. With little in the way of corroborating evidence, Pryce came up with the idea of recording her husband to try to secure a confession. On 3 March 2011, Isabel Oakeshott wrote to Pryce saying what the likely outcome would be. 'Clegg would probably secretly be gleeful, so wouldn't rescue him; and Cameron fairly indifferent,' she wrote. Ms Oakeshott – a distant relative of Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat grandee who once helped run the Huhne leadership campaign - sent a 'cod text' to the Energy Secretary suggesting that the media were not pursuing the story to try to get him to 'drop his guard' during the phone calls but Huhne did not incriminate himself. In pages of e-mails between the two women seen by the jury, Pryce raises the prospect of telling Clegg or his close associates that papers are 'on to' Huhne in the hope that Clegg would 'ease him out' because he did not want any more scandals. On the eve of publication at 8.20am on 7 May, Ms Oakeshott wrote an e-mail: 'What do you think about warning Nick or Miriam about this story and telling them it's true? Anything to be gained from doing that, or not? Obviously we haven't told [Huhne] yet that he's about to find himself at the centre of a shit-storm, but we'll need to do that later today.' Pryce replied back within the hour saying that she needed to 'think when and if to tell them.' A day later, the shit-storm duly arrived on Huhne's doorstep. Clegg's wife, Miriam, said: 'I have never ever been told by Vicky or anybody else about the traffic points story. I got to know about this when everybody else did.' A spokeswoman for Cable said: 'Vince and Rachel have no recollection of the issue of points being raised with them over the course of dinner with Vicky Price on 28 January 2011. They have consulted their personal records which confirm that the issue first came to their attention in May 2011 when the story broke in the press.' Lord Oakeshott said: 'Vicky must have been under a lot of pressure but I'm sure she never raised the question of points with me.' Various nameless Lib Dem 'insiders' allegedly told the Gruniad Morning Star that Pryce may have made 'general remarks' about an action committed by her former husband that would 'damage him' but insist that she did not give any details. Oh, this just gets better and better. So, these 'general remarks', are they a bit like the 'non-specific allegations' made about Rennard that Clegg first claimed he didn't know nothing - naaaaa-thing - about and then changed his story? One alleged 'source' allegedly told the Gruniad that even if Clegg had known about the speeding incident and confronted Huhne, the former Energy Secretary was denying the allegation at the time and Lib Dem leader would have had to give him the benefit of the doubt.

George Lucas has revealed that original Star Wars cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are 'already signed' for JJ Abrams's episode seven of the franchise. Lucas sold his company Lucasfilm to Disney for four billion smackers last year, but will be 'involved' in a 'consultancy role' as the franchise moves forward with producer Kathleen Kennedy. In a Business Week article profiling Disney's relaunch of Star Wars, Lucas was asked if the original cast will be involved and if he notified them of the Disney deal in advance. 'We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison - or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation,' he said. 'So I called them to say, "Look, this is what's going on." Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.' Lucas then appeared to back-track further, adding: 'I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not.'
A former Surrey Police officer has admitted selling information, including details about footballer John Terry's mother, to the Sun newspaper. Alan Tierney, forty, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two offences of misconduct in a public office. Two others, ex-prison worker Richard Trunkfield, thirty one, and another ex-policeman had also pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office. A fourth person, a public official, also admitted conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. Tierney and Trunkfield had been charged as part of Operation Elveden into corrupt payments and nefarious skulduggery and malarkey. The operation is being run alongside Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting, which is looking into phone-hacking. Tierney, from Hayling Island in Hampshire, passed on details about two stories in 2009, the court heard. The first was about the mother of the Moscow Chelseki FC captain John Terry, who had been cautioned by the police for shoplifting. The other was about the Rolling Stone Rockin' Ronnie Wood, who was cautioned for assault after an incident with his then girlfriend. The former officer admitted one count of misconduct in a public office between 26 March and 3 April 2009, and the second between 2 and 7 December 2009. Tierney was released on bail and will be sentenced on 27 March. Mr Justice Fulford warned him that 'all options remain open.' Tierney is the second current or former police officer to be convicted under Operation Elveden, following the case of ex-counter-terrorism detective April Casburn who was found extremely guilty to trying to sell details of a predecessor to Operation Weeting to the Scum of the World. Trunkfield, a former prison operational support officer at HMP Woodhill, in Milton Keynes, admitted leaking information about 'a high-profile prisoner' to the tabloid. He was paid three thousand three hundred and fifty notes, the court heard. Trunkfield pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office between 2 March and 30 April 2010. He will be sentenced at a later date. The second police officer and the public official could not be named 'for legal reasons', whatever that means. Ex-News International chief executive and well-known Crystal Tipps lookalike Rebekah Brooks also appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday. Her case was adjourned to a later date. John Kay, the Sun's chief reporter, also appeared and pleaded not guilty to an offence of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. In a separate case, the prime minister's former chief spokesman, and 'chum', Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman, ex-royal correspondent for the Scum of the World, also appeared at the Old Bailey. Their cases were adjourned.

Meanwhile, billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch is said to have 'privately voiced doubts' about his decision to set up a corporate 'clean-up' unit that provided information to the police, leading to the arrest of twenty four Sun journalists so far. Oh, I'll bet he regrets it. Alleged News International 'sources' - quoted by the Gruniad Morning Star and, therefore, like as not entirely made-up - allegedly said that Murdoch allegedly questioned whether he had 'made the right decision' to set up the management and standards committee at a private summit in London on Wednesday with many of the senior Sun editorial executives and journalists who have spent more than a year on bail in relation to allegations of payments to police and public officials for stories. It is understood, the Gruniad claim, that the News Corporation chairman and chief executive and Sun proprietor met with the journalists to 'allay concerns' that their careers and futures have been 'left in limbo' as they continue to be bailed and rebailed following arrests that, in most cases, took place in January and February of last year. Two alleged 'sources' allegedly said that Murdoch 'expressed concern' about the role the MSC had played. 'He questioned whether setting up the MSC was the right decision,' said one, allegedly. Further nameless - and, therefore, probably non-existent - 'sources' allegedly said that at the meeting on Wednesday, Murdoch allegedly 'vowed to continue to pay' the arrestees' legal fees and offer 'whatever support was needed.' However, they claim, he said he could not, for legal reasons, tell them what would happen with regard to their employment if any were to be charged and found guilty. Alleged 'insiders' allegedly said that the Sun editor, Dominic Mohan, and News International's new chief executive, Mike Darcey, also attended the meeting. The MSC has been heavily criticised by some - mostly News International employees if not anyone that actually matters - for handing over internal e-mails to Scotland Yard, a decision that billionaire tyrant Murdoch has, until no,w defended on the grounds that the company had 'no choice' but to cooperate with the police. Many of the twenty four arrests of Sun journalists have been based on information handed to the police by the MSC, leading to 'concerns' that it was breaking one of the principle tenets of journalism – to protect the identity of sources. The MSC was set up in July 2011 at the height of the furore over the Scum of the World phone-hacking scandal to 'root out' any allegedly illegal activity by News International journalists. In Murdoch's own words during his evidence to the Leveson inquiry last year, the MSC 'has actively cooperated with the Metropolitan police as well as with the United States Department of Justice, turning over evidence of alleged or suspected illegality, and responding to all requests for information. This has led to the arrests of a number of NI employees.' One of the first things the MSC did was hand over three hundred million internal e-mails to a police unit who were invited to share an office with the News Corp team in a building adjacent to the Sun's headquarters in Thomas More Square in Wapping. The ensuing arrests have 'shocked' staff in the Sun newsroom and in February 2012 Murdoch flew to London to try to 'sooth nerves', announcing that he was reversing the decision to suspend ten journalists who had been arrested over allegations of corrupt payment to police officers and other public officials for stories. He visited the Sun newsroom giving his backing to members of staff arrested, telling them 'everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise.' But, the arrest count subsequently doubled and morale at the Sun is said to have 'plunged.' The MSC is 'continuing to co-operate' with police but is to be absorbed into the Murdoch group's legal department by the end of this year. The media group wants to fold the work of the MSC, whose chief members were Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg, into the department run by global legal counsel, Gerson Zweifach. Lewis has already been given a new role in New York, where he will be chief creative officer, at the new publishing company which will be created as a result of the News Corp demerger later this year. Greenberg is expected to get a new job in relation to Fox Sports.

Mark Rylance is set to play Thomas Cromwell in the TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel's award-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Rylance initially turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts, reports suggest. Official confirmation of the casting is expected next week. Mantel's Booker-winning novels follow Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief adviser, and his rise and fall in the Tudor court. Peter Straughan is adapting the books for a six-part series on BBC2. Straughan, co-author of the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is working with Mantel, who is a consultant on the screenplay. A stage adaptation by the Royal Shakespeare Company is also under way and is expected to premiere at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in December. Wolf Hall, Mantel's twelfth novel, won the Booker prize in 2009 and became a worldwide bestseller. Last year, the author became the first woman to win the Booker twice when Bring Up The Bodies triumphed. Credited with reinventing the historical novel, her books portray Cromwell as a ruthless but sympathetic figure - a man of intelligence and versatility who can 'draft a contract, train a falcon, draw a map, stop a street fight, furnish a house and fix a jury.' Mantel is currently writing the third instalment in her Cromwell trilogy, to be entitled Mirror And The Light. Rylance, regarded as one of Britain's finest stage actors and directors, is currently rehearsing a new play, Nice Fish, at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. In September, he will return to London to direct Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic.

Websites which retransmit live TV over the Internet without permission from broadcasters are in breach of copyright, Europe's highest court has ruled in a judgment with wide ranging implications. The landmark ruling published on Thursday by the European court of justice means that dozens of sites showing live TV in the UK, including the London-based TVCatchup.com, must now get rights clearance from broadcasters. Legal experts said the decision was likely to spark a renewed clampdown by rights holders against similar sites, many of which show live sport. The case was brought by ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five against TVCatchup.com, which streams free-to-air shows from the BBC, ITV and Channel Four. The ECJ decided that the website, which carries pre-roll advertising before shows, was in breach of a 2001 law that describes the original broadcasters as 'authors' of the programming, giving them the exclusive right to approve or restrict its use. 'EU law seeks to establish a high level of protection for authors of works, allowing them to obtain an appropriate reward for the use of those works,' the ECJ said in its judgment. 'Television broadcasters may prohibit the retransmission of their programmes by another company via the Internet. That retransmission constitutes, under certain conditions, a "communication to the public" of works which must be authorised by their authors.' An ITV spokeswoman said: 'ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five welcome the judgment by the European court of justice. The judgment makes it clear that, subject to some limited defences, broadcasters and content producers should be able to prevent unauthorised streaming of free-to-air channels. We now look forward to the UK court's implementation of this judgment. We reserve the right to pursue any site or service we believe to be infringing our copyright or using our content in an unlicensed, illegal capacity.' However, the TVCatchup.com director, Bruce Pilley, insisted that the ruling would impact 'barely thirty per cent' of its twelve million registered users. TVCatchup has argued that licences granted to ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five by media regulator Ofcom also apply to subsidiary channels such as its own service. Pilley said: 'TVCatchup.com is here to stay, we are not thinly disguised purveyors of filth, we remain Europe's first and only legal Internet cable service and the ECJ opinion affects only a handful of channels we carry.' Until Thursday, it was unclear whether the unauthorised retransmission of live TV online was in breach of copyright laws. Tony Ballard, a broadcast lawyer and partner at London law firm Harbottle & Lewis, said that the ruling was significant. He added: 'It is one in an increasingly long line of decisions by which the court appears to be laying the foundations for a new European legal order in copyright and other forms of intellectual property. On the one hand, it is strengthening authors' rights, such as by extending the concept of communication to the public, which subsumes the old broadcasting right, to encompass the activities of those who, like TVC, intervene in the distribution of broadcast services. On the other, it is limiting those rights in pursuit of single market principles by outlawing exclusive national licensing, extending the principle of exhaustion of rights to downloads, limiting the amount that copyright proprietors may charge as royalties and balancing owners' rights against those of users.'

Stargazers could enjoy a rare spectacle as a bright comet swings into the Northern Hemisphere later this weekend. The icy mass, called C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs, should be visible with binoculars or a telescope from 8 March. But in the following days, it will become even brighter and could be seen with the naked eye. Astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere have already been treated to a fly past, with reports that the body was as bright as stars in the Plough. Mark Bailey, director of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, said: 'We have great hopes for this comet. Of course we are always very cautious - even now we don't know how bright it is going to get - but we are keeping out fingers crossed.' The comet was first discovered in June 2011, spotted by the Pan-Starrs telescope in Hawaii as a faint object more than a billion kilometres away. Astronomers believe it originated in the Oort Cloud, a region of space packed full of comets, and has been hurtling towards the Sun for millions of years. It is thought to be a non-periodic comet, which means this could be the first time it has ever passed through the inner Solar System, and it might not return for another one hundred thousand years. On 10 March, it will make its closest approach to the Sun, passing at a distance of about forty five million kilometres. As it heats up, the ice and dust in the Pan-Starrs' outer crust turn to gas, making it bright in the night sky. Solar wind and pressure from sunlight gives the body its characteristic double tail. Professor Bailey said: 'The closer you get to the Sun, the more of this material is ejected, and therefore the brighter the comet can be.' He said that the nucleus of the comet was estimated to be about twenty to thirty kilometres in diameter, but the gas and dust surrounding meant it could span more than a million kilometres. The 12 and 13 March could provide the best viewing opportunity. At this time, it will move further from the Sun, but should be easier to spot in the night sky, providing it is a clear night. 'After sunset, scan the horizon roughly in the western direction. On the 12 and 13 March, there is a nice association with the thin crescent Moon,' advised Bailey. 'You can use the Moon as a guide, and search just down or to the left of the Moon. Through binoculars you should be able to see the head of the comet and certainly the two types of the tail.' He added: 'I would always advise people to hunt for comets with binoculars, but if you have found it with binoculars, have a good hunt around and see if you can see it with the naked eye. That's quite a challenge - but it is a wonderful thing to have seen.' After this, the comet will begin to appear later and higher up in the night sky. And then, as April draws near, it will vanish back into the depths of space where it can only be seen with large telescopes. If the weather proves poor during this period, astronomers could be offered another chance for a celestial delight at the end of the year when comet Ison should grace our skies. Flying four times closer to the Sun than Pan-starrs, it could prove even brighter. But there is also a chance that it could break up.

A woman in Oklahoma has been found with a loaded gun up her vagina after being arrested by police. Christie Dawn Harris, twenty eight, was apprehended by authorities early on Monday in the town of Asa when they searched a Toyota Yaris she was hiding in and, subsequently, was found to have crystal meth and a pistol, ahem, 'about her person'. Harris was taken to the local jail where she initially refused to change into jail clothing, claiming that she was on her period, according to The Smoking Gun website. Officer Kathy Unbewust, who was conducting the body cavity search, eventually persuaded her to comply and found the weapon sticking out between her legs. 'I observed at that time a wooden and metal item sticking out from her vagina area,' said Unbewust matter-of-factly in her report. '[I] pulled the item from her vagina, and found it to be a five-shot revolver with rounds in the chamber.' Harris was also discovered to be hiding meth up her arse during the body search. Unbewust added: 'I then retrieved from between Christie's buttocks two clear baggies containing a large amount of a crystal substance [which] tested positive for methamphetamine.' Harris faces drug and firearm charges as well as 'bringing contraband into a jail facility.' Which, frankly, seems a bit harsh since she, presumably  given the choice wouldn't to gone to the jail if she hadn't been forced to!

Thursday night's The Record Player at the Tyneside was yet another absolutely splendid and joyous couple of hours which succeeded in getting yer actual Keith Telly Topping out of the house for a few hours. In and of itself a major feat these days. Listening to a properly great LP (Roxy's For Your Pleasure) in some good company with a couple of beers was good enough but then, just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any better the great Paul Thompson only went and turned up as a special guest and yer actual Uncle Scunthorpe his very self interviewed him about his spectacular drumming thereupon. Not only that, but yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self made it to the bus stop just as the quarter-past-nine number twelve arrived, stopped off on the way back to Stately Telly Topping Manor to get takeaway curry, boiled rice and chips and, then, watched the highlights of his beloved (though unsellable) Magpies getting a battling, and deserved, draw in Russia in the Europa League on ITV4. What a properly excellent night - seriously, if I'd found a penny down the back of the sofa at that point it would've been my Best! Day! Ever! So, credit where it's due - thanks, majorly, to yer actual Uncle Scunthorpe Steve his very self for putting the gig on and to Geoff, Christian, Billy, Mietek and Naomi, Chris and Gill and Bruce for some properly good company. Next week there are three (count 'em) Record Players, the standard Thursday night event at the Tyneside (featuring yet another inspired two-header, 'The Dark Side of 67' and The Doors versus The Velvet Underground & Nico), plus two specials. One, also at the Tyneside, on Monday will be unveiling the new Bowie LP on its day of release. And, just for fun, here's Uncle Scunthorpe's own 'ten reasons to shun Bowie' piece from GiggleBeats. I particularly like Number Seven! There's also a mystery night on Friday at a yet-to-be-disclosed central Newcastle location for 'cocktail hour, 1959' and a re-spin of an old Record Player favourite, Miles Davis's A Kind of Blue. Niiice.

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And, as promised earlier in the week, a bit more of yer man John Foxx and his jagged-edged synth stylings since 'Underpass' went down so well. This one's a bit of an obscurity, as well. A flexi-disc (remember them?) given away free with copies of an issue of Smash Hits circa October 1980 and the first Foxx record I actually owned. Still have it and, as far as I know, it still plays thirty odd years later. Quite why he threw this little twenty four carat pop classic away as a flexi instead of putting it out as a single, I haven't a clue. Here's 'My Face'.
Coming up over the next couple of weeks of Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, in addition to record Player nights, there'll also be various examples of some of the stuff I've been playing at home recently. Gary Numan, The Teardrop Explodes, Blondie, Roxy, Donald Fagan, Electronic, possibly even a bit of The Clash. Et cetera. Maybe even some more John Foxx. Keep yer eyes peeled for all of those, dear blog reader, they'll be coming thick and fast.

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