Sunday, March 24, 2013

Time And Conditions Are Built To Tame

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has spoken about his future on Doctor Who. The showrunner admitted that he is nearer the end of his time on the show than he is the beginning, Entertainment Weekly reports. The fifty one-year-old took over as showrunner following Russell Davies's five-year run, with Moffat's first series in charge being shown in 2010. Saying that 'statistically I'm nearer the end than the beginning' of his time as showrunner, Moffat added: 'I just take it a year at a time. I think the feeling of it being done for you is quite unambiguous when it suddenly arrives.'
The BBC have released a prequel and a new trailer for The Bells of Saint John, which premiers on BBC1 next Saturday at 6:15pm.
The trailer was broadcast on BBC1 before the, as expected, completely rubbish Pointless Celebrities Doctor Who special on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, the British tabloid press seem utterly determined to push on with their - suspiciously concerted - 'Matt Smith is leaving' agenda, it would appear. Which may well be true but it's a bit disingenuous to be writing such stories just twenty four hours after the BBC had flat-out denied it. Even if very few people actually believed the denial. Saturday's Mirra, for instance, has an utterly pointless nothing story speculating about potential successors to Smudger based on, of all things, betting odds from some nameless 'bookmakers' (who were, in all probability, made up for the occasion). They write: 'Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been given surprisingly low odds of six-to-one to take over Matt Smith's Time Lord role, if and when the current Doctor Who [sic] quits the show. Earlier today the BBC moved to quash speculation that Smith, thirty, would be leaving the sci-fi classic at Christmas - but that hasn't prevented the bookies from offering odds across a Who's Who of British thespian talent on who may pick up the sonic screwdriver. RSC standout and Bond star Rory Kinnear is the favourite to land the iconic part at three to one, with Homeland's David Harewood and former Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens not far behind in the betting reckoning.' As noted, a preposterous fraction of a speculative piece useful only for fish and chip paper. Or for wiping the shite off your arse with, possibly.
According to From The North in its position as a thoroughly uninformed spectator to the fiasco, the chances of Matt leaving the role in or shortly after this year's Christmas special are, probably, about evens at the moment (I certainly wouldn't back against it since three-and-a-bit series seems to be about the going rate of the part these days). But the chances of yer actual Benny Cumberbatch - of all people - taking over the role are more like a zillion-to-one. Against. So, if any bookmakers really are offering six-to-one on him, then that illustrates perfect why you very seldom see a poor bookmaker. Next ...
Goodbye Television Centre, a special programme bidding farewell to the BBC's historic building, pulled in a reasonable-sized audience on Friday night. BBC4's two-hour special, shown between 8.30pm and 10.30pm, averaged a healthy 1.41 million and peaked with nearly two million at around 10pm. As well as being the most-watched multichannel broadcast of the day, Goodbye Television Centre also helped BBC4 overtake Channel Five in primetime. The Goodbye Television Centre Night extravaganza kicked-off at 7.30pm with a live hour-long Madness at the BBC special, pulling in seven hundred and ninety two thousand). Soft-core pornographer Richard Desmond's Five network was unable to beat BBC4 in any of its slots, with World's Scariest Near Misses recording seven hundred and thirty nine thousand punters from 7pm, Ice Road Truckers interesting 1.15m an hour later and The Mentalist also picking up an audience of 1.15m at 10pm. Meanwhile, ITV's coverage of England's 8-0 drubbing of piss-poor San Marino scored 5.11m between 7.30pm and 10.10pm. Almost as many as England scored, in fact. BBC1's new series of MasterChef continued its steady start to the series with four million viewers at 8.30pm, after which a repeat of New Tricks had 3.35m. (14.2%).

Ant And/Or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway continued its ratings rejuvenation, with its latest episode topping the seven million mark. Some 7.33m punters watched the fifth episode of the revived format. Setting a new high for its tenth series, Saturday Night Takeaway was easily the best-rated broadcast of the evening, having fallen short of the Six Nations rugby finale last week. Takeaway, screened at 7pm, also geared up ITV for its first Saturday night win over BBC1 of 2013, with The Cube being watched by 4.69m at 8.15pm and The Jonathan Ross Show having an audience of 2.62m from 9.15pm. Over on BBC1, Pointless Celebrities and Lottery show Who Dares Wins recorded identical overnight figures of 4.76m between 7pm and 8.50pm, then the audience rose to 5.16m for Casualty, before a Mrs Brown's Boys repeat was watched by 4.91m. A classic Foyle's War episode pulled in a huge 1.51m for digital channel ITV3 between 9pm and 11pm (including yer actual Keith Telly Topping as it happens), meaning the drama channel elevated itself into third place behind ITV and BBC1.

Holly Willoughby has 'revealed a secret' about her dressing room on The Voice, 'confessing' that it's 'filled with Spanx.' The TV presenter 'let slip' that she owns the body-shaping undergarments, which are designed to give women a slim and shapely figure during an interview with the tabloids this week. To sum up, then, this is the second time in two days that a diamond of utter trivial numskull shite-bollocks concerning this woman (who, apparently, can walk in a straight line and read an autocue at the same time) has appeared in a tabloid newspaper disguised as 'news.' Isn't it about time that we all, as a society, found something worthwhile to be interested in instead of the content orf Holly Willoughby's pants? Come on, people. We - as a species - came out of the cave, we learned the secret of fire, we built the pyramids, we crossed the oceans and mapped the globe, we mastered flight, we sent a man to the moon, we even invented suitcases with wheels on them (after we'd sent a man to the moon, admittedly). We have opposable thumbs and can hold a screwdriver and, therefore, we control the destiny of the planet instead of, you know, squirrels. We nurtured Michaelangelo, Shakespeare, Darwin, The Beatles and George Best. We're better than this arse.
TV presenter Tim Lovejoy has spoken to the Digital Spy website about his dream TV project, a show called Food and Football. Personally, yer actual Keith Telly Topping also has a dream of a TV show which caters to his two favourite subjects, humiliating TV personalities and extreme violence. I've even got a name for it. Smack Some Publicity Hungry Glake In The Mush With A Big Bastard Hammer. Whaddya think? It's a bit more Channel Five than BBC2, admittedly. Lovejoy said that he would 'love' to team up with his Sunday Brunch co-host Simon Rimmer to 'tour the world,' testing out cuisine and enjoying different sports around the world. 'I'd really like to do a road trip with Simon,' said Lovejoy, who used to be really good when presenting Soccer AM last century but now, isn't. 'We'd love to do a show called Food and Football. We'd travel around amazing cities in the world, in Asia, Africa and Europe, sampling the local cuisine and watching a football game or whatever the sport is in their country - polo, Greco-wrestling. Take in the sport, take in the food. And get paid.' Yeah. And, you suspect, that last point is the important one. He added: 'We kind of do that already anyway. Simon books holidays and checks out famous restaurants before heading out there. When I book a holiday, I check out what sporting events are going on. I always base my holidays around sporting events.' Lovejoy and Rimmer celebrate the first anniversary of Channel Four magazine show Sunday Brunch this weekend.
Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley has named Louis Walsh as his 'ideal contestant' for Pro-Celebrity Drowning's second series. As if anybody with a single sodding faction of a brain cell in their collective skull actually gives an effing monkey's knob about such rank and pathetic nonsense.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders in the Malaysian GP to win an intense battle with team mate Mark Webber. Webber led after the final pit stops and the drivers were told to hold position to the end of the race but Vettel passed Webber after an intense battle with thirteen laps to go. Vettel has since apologised for the incident. Lewis Hamilton took third ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who - unlike Vettal - obeyed an order to stay behind. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso crashed on the second lap after breaking his front wing. The Spaniard's team-mate Felipe Massa took fifth, fighting past the Lotus cars of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen in the closing laps after the Lotus team's gamble to try to do only three pit stops rather than four failed. Grosjean finished sixth ahead of Raikkonen, who won the first race in Australia last weekend. McLaren's Jenson Button was on for a points-scoring finish, possibly as high as fifth place, before he was sent on his way by his McLaren team from a pit stop with a loose front wheel. With not particularly hilarious consequences. The Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg took eighth ahead of McLaren's Sergio Perez, with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne tenth. It was a race full of drama as the intra-team battles at Red Bull and Mercedes played out live. The battle between the Red Bulls was resolved in an intense scrap as Webber rejoined from his final pit stop. Vettel was warned by team boss, Christian Horner, that he was 'being stupid' but the two then battled wheel-to-wheel around Turns One and Two onto Turn Four, where Webber appeared finally to yield to his team-mate despite having the inside line. Webber said: 'After the last stop the team told me the race was over and we turned the engines down and go to the end. The team made their decision. Seb made his own decision and he will have protection as usual.' Vettel was told over the radio after the race: 'Good job, Seb. Looks like you wanted it bad enough. Still you've got some explaining to do.' Webber had initially taken the lead at the first stops as the drivers came in to fit dry-weather tyres following a wet start. He had led the race throughout, with the two Red Bull drivers using the two available tyre compounds in different orders. Vettel chose to end the race on the softer 'medium' tyre while Webber was on the hard. Vettel said: 'Obviously it is very hot and if there is something to say we need to say it internally.' Red Bull chief Helmut Marko, a powerful champion of Vettel, admitted the battle had 'got out of control.' Meanwhile, there was controversy at Mercedes as Rosberg followed Hamilton closely in the final laps. Rosberg asked the team to let him pass a slowing Hamilton, but was told 'negative' by team boss Ross Brawn. When he complained again, Brawn told him that Hamilton - who had earlier been told to save fuel - was also being 'controlled' and could also go faster. Hamilton admitted on the podium: 'I can't say it's the best feeling being up here today. If I'm honest I really feel Nico should be standing here.' Hamilton had provided an amusing diversion when, coming in for his second stop, he headed into the pit box of former team McLaren before being waved on towards Mercedes. 'I did a Jenson,' he said. 'He did it a couple of years ago and I've done it today. Apologies to my team.' The result puts Vettel into the championship lead by eleven points from Raikkonen. Webber is five points further adrift and ahead of Hamilton, Massa and Alonso, who is already twenty two points behind Vettel, the man who narrowly beat him to the title 2010 and 2012. Alonso started third and was up to second, past Massa, by the first corner. But he tapped the back of Vettel's car in Turn Two. It was the lightest of touches but enough to break the front wing mounts. He held onto second place throughout the first lap but chose not to stop to change it and it collapsed heading into Turn One on the second lap, sending him into the gravel trap.

Derek Watkins, the British trumpet player who played on every James Bond film soundtrack apart from Skyfall, has died aged sixty eight. He died at home in Reading on Friday following a lengthy illness, Philip Biggs, editor of the Brass Herald said. Watkins was 'widely considered to be the foremost British Big Band trumpet player' of all time, said Biggs. The trumpeter, who turned professional aged seventeen, is survived by his wife Wendy and their three children. He was born into a brass band family and was taught to play the cornet at the age of four by his father. Watkins then played in the band his father conducted - The Spring Gardens Brass Band in Reading - of which his grandfather was also conductor and a founder member. Derek also played with his father's dance band before turning professional. Derek, who was described as 'Mister Lead' by jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, played on the soundtrack for every 007 film from Dr No to Quantum Of Solace. He also played with The Beatles (appearing on both 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane'), Elton John, Eric Clapton, U2, Oasis, The Pet Shop Boys, Frank Sinatra, the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra during his lengthy career. And, Matt Bianco, so it wasn't all good. The trumpeter played with the BBC Big Band and performed for prominent jazz musicians Johnny Dankworth, Maynard Ferguson and Benny Goodman. Biggs described his friend as 'a people's person - no side, no ego, a fun loving musician who couldn't get enough of life, who loved his family.'

A custom-built Vox guitar, used by George Harrison and the notorious alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon is set to fetch as much as one hundred and eighty eight grand at a New York auction in May. It will be the main attraction at Julien's Auctions forthcoming Music Icons sale. The guitar, given to electronics engineer and Beatles scenester Magic Alex Mardas as a gift in 1967, was played by Harrison during rehearsals (and, possibly, early takes) for the 1967 song 'I Am The Walrus', while Lennon played it on one of the video for 'Hello, Goodbye'. Although whether it was actually used on any Beatles records is still open to question. (Andy Babiuk in his superb book Beatles Gear notes that the guitar as acquired by the group during September 1967 but concludes that it was never actually used in the studio.) Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, told Reuters that the guitar is 'one of the most historical pieces of music memorabilia' ever to go under the hammer at the auction house. The sale, scheduled for 18 May, will also include a rare autographed copy of the band's 1963 début LP Please Please Me, which is expected to pull in up to over thirty thousand quid as well as costumes and memorabilia from Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and David Bowie.

Former Britpop rivals yer actual Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn his very self have buried the hatchet and performed together at a charity concert. The former Oasis guitarist Gallagher joined ex-Blur singer Albarn and his former bandmate Graham Coxon at a Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Paul Weller completed the supergroup, who performed Blur's 1999 single 'Tender'. Oasis and Blur were, infamously, engaged in a bitter rivalry during the mid-1990s as the biggest British bands of the era. But Gallagher and Albarn have, by all accounts, recently made peace. They shared a table at this year's Brit Awards, with Gallagher later saying that they had bonded over a mutual dislike of the boy band One Direction. Gallagher has curated this year's series of Teenage Cancer Trust concerts.

So, anyway, on that note of peace, lurv and harmony, like, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's usual Sunday ritual this week included:-
  • a lie in and then a bath
  • breakfast
  • downloading Danny Baker's 5Live podcast
  • being very annoyed that Danny Baker wasn't on The Danny Baker Show this week
  • still very annoyed about this several minutes later.
  • listening to last night's Beat Surrender on BBC Newcastle on Listen Again instead.
  • doing the weekly washing.
  • pogo'ing around the kitchen whilst doing the weekly washing to The Clash's 'Tommy Gun' on Beat Surrender.
  • hurting his back whilst pogo'ing around the kitchen to 'Tommy Gun' on Beat Surrender.
  • going for a lie down.
That was a snapshot yer actual Keith Telly Topping's Sunday so far, dear blog reader. How was yours? (Incidentally, the first three songs on Beat Surrender this week - 'Tommy Gun' followed by 'The Cutter' then 'Do Nothing' - are, surely, a comment on Delivering Quality First? Oi, subtext rapidly becoming the text here young Nick!

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's yer actual Goddman Modfather his very self, along with Merton Mick, Tracie and three - extremely chilly-looking - models having fun on a London bus like Cliff Richard. On a very cold Sunday in Wales by the look of things. Blow that cornet, sweetheart.

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