Monday, March 25, 2013

Week Fourteen: Is Everybody In? The Ceremony Is About To Begin

Foyle's War returned on Sunday night with an overnight audience of around seven million punters on ITV. And, very good it was too, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's been a long-term supporter of the format and was delighted to see that it was still capable of producing the goods after a three year break. Up against that, BBC1's Our Girl also did pretty well, with 5.3 million viewers against tough opposition. Apparently, feedback from viewers has been really positive and it's quite likely to get a series on the back of this.

BBC2 series Parade's End leads the way at this year's BAFTA TV Craft Awards with five nominations. The period drama received recognition for best costume, make-up and hair, production design, visual and graphic effects, and best drama writer for Sir Tom Stoppard. BBC dramas The Girl, Ripper Street and The Hour all received four nominations each. The awards, which honour behind the scenes programme-makers, will be handed out at a London ceremony on 28 April. A number of programmes scored two nominations each, including Doctor Who, Call The Midwife, Top Gear and The Thick of It. Alongside Stoppard, other nominees in the drama writer category include Shaun Duggan and bitter old whinging Red Jimmy McGovern for misery-fest Accused, Gwyneth Hughes for The Girl and Sally Wainwright for Last Tango in Halifax. Jo Brand has a nomination in the comedy writer category, along with Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan, for their sitcom Getting On. They will compete against John Morton for Twenty Twelve, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche and Simon Blackwell for The Thick of It and Julia David for Sky's Hunderby. Other categories include editing, sound, original music and director for factual and fiction programming. It was announced last week that Hamish Hamilton, who directed the opening and closing ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will receive a special award for his contribution to live event directing.

Mad Frankie Boyle could be returning to the BBC. Which, because it will piss off many, many people who thoroughly deserve a bit of pissing off is, frankly, thigh-slappingly hilarious. Shane Allen, the BBC's new controller of comedy commissioning who worked with Boyle at Channel Four where he made his last series - Tramadol Nights - in 2010, has revealed that he would like to see the comic have his own series at the corporation, despite the outcry it may cause. With the Daily Scum Mail. And, the Gruniad Morning Star. So, that's a good thing. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping rather likes this Shane Allen chap's style. Tramadol Nights ended abruptly following outrage provoked by a series of jokes about Paralympic athletes made by Boyle on Twitter in August last year. Channel Four pointedly declined to officially back (or, for that matter condemn) Boyle after the protests. The comments were made on his personal Twitter account but seriously embarrassed Channel Four, which was broadcasting the Paralympics exclusively for television at the time. Ofcom also ruled in 2011 that comments made by Boyle about Katie Price's disabled son 'had considerable potential to be highly offensive' and were in breach of the broadcasting code. Soon after, a Channel Four pilot for a show called Frankie Boyle's Rehabilitation Programme was quietly dropped but Allen now says the format, which he describes as 'Wogan but with paedo jokes', may be brought to the BBC. In the show Boyle takes a controversial position and asks the audience and invited guests to argue with him. Boyle last appeared regularly on the BBC in 2009 on Mock the Week and was usually one of the best reasons for watching it. Particularly the routine about cities rising up on hydraulic legs. 'I'm not going to suddenly stop admiring his unique comic talent because I've switched teams,' Allen told the Gruniad Morning Star. Whom, one could tell from the tone of the article were  pompously gurning into their muesli at the very thought of such an occurrence. 'I worked with [Mad Frankie] at Channel Four and I admired him but it wouldn't be my first move to get him on air it would be quite bold. I want to make sure that we have the right vehicle and the right channel and that Frankie would get all the support from the top down and the thing about Frankie he has gone through a couple of media storms. For me, Frankie shares the same provocative, edgy comedy danger that Billy Connolly had early in his career and Billy is now hailed as a national treasure. I think TV can accommodate someone like Frankie now and it's a shame we didn't have more of Billy Connolly on telly in the seventies.' Allen also confirmed that he is bringing over another of his former alleged comedy 'talents' from Channel Four, Peter Kay. Kay, who is about as funny as a burst haemorrhoid, who found fame with Channel Four comedies such as Phoenix Nights and the risible Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, will make his BBC début with Car Share, a BBC1 comedy that will be the first mainstream show to premiere on the BBC's Internet service iPlayer. In the comedy, which could be broadcast on BBC1 as early as this autumn, Kay stars alongside Sian Gibson as a pair of supermarket workers forced to drive together in a company car share scheme. With hilarious consequences, no doubt. Allen also revealed that he is also overseeing Mr Pompidou, a silent comedy the first non-verbal comedy from another vastly over-rated comedian, Little Britain's Matt Lucas, scheduled for 2014. 'In a crude sense it's Matt's Mr Bean moment,' said Allen. Another commission is a new shown from Peep Show writer Jesse Armstrong, a three-part series called Sex and Politics based on a politician who is 'compromised by his personal sexual appetites.' Not so much a comedy as a documentary, that one.

The London mayor faced a grilling on Sunday over allegations made against him in an upcoming BBC documentary. Eddie Mair, interviewing Boris Johnson on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show, confronted Johnson about claims that he made up quotes while working for The Times, lied to his party leader about having an affair and provided a friend with the address of someone they wanted to 'beat up.' Mair also asked Johnson about his refusal to discuss whether he wants to be the prime minister, to which Johnson replies 'I don't want to talk about this.' Johnson's father, Stanley, has reportedly 'hit out' at Eddie Mair's interview with his son describing it as a 'disgusting' piece of journalism. However, his son has apparently conceded that Mair had done 'a splendid job.' Johnson Jr's encounter with Mair on the Sunday morning show was labelled 'a bicycle crash' – after the major's penchant for two-wheeled transport – and ended with Mair, presenter of Radio 4's PM programme, asking: 'You're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?' He received no reply.

Carol Vorderman has reportedly broken her nose after falling down a flight of stairs. I'm not sure quite why that's so vastly amusing, dear blog reader. But it undeniably, is. If anybody can explain, please do. The TV presenter revealed that she 'took a tumble' while wearing high heels after a production meeting at the weekend. Ooo, you don't wanna do that, love. Not unless you can walk in a straight line and talk at the same time. Although, apparently, Holly Willoughby has mastered that feat, so ... Vorderman required surgery on her face, and will not appear on ITV's Loose Women while she recovers. So you see, every cloud really does have a silver lining. 'I feel okay but because I had my hands in my coat pockets while I was running, I had nothing to break my fall except my head. I look like I've done eight rounds with Muhammad Ali,' she is quoted as saying in the Mirra. 'The bruising round my eye has reached its peak. I also have stitches in my forehead and left eyelid. But I am just counting my blessings that I didn't damage my skull or the eye itself.' She added: 'I feel like a complete idiot.' Well, it's your fault for taking the Food Glorious Food job in the first place, love.

Highlights of BBC1's Sunday entertainment included the divine Suzi Perry in a slinky little black number managing to make David Coulthard look even more square-jawed than normal on the coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
And Julia Bradbury getting very friendly with a llama on Countryfile.

John Barrowman his very self has announced that he will not appear in Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary special in November. Which, most people kind-of suspected anyway. So, that's not exactly 'news', then.

Oafisah risible professional Northerner - and glake - Vernon Kay was 'caught red-handed' whilst allegedly trying to allegedly steal a memento from BBC Television Centre. Allegedly. The presenter was 'nabbed by a security guard' after attempting to take home a door sign, and was ordered to return it or face the consequences. The sign in question was from his first dressing room during his stint as FBi host, back in 2000. 'It was a sign from my first-ever TV dressing room so I couldn't resist taking it for sentimental reasons,' Kay told the Mirra. 'The security guard was lovely though and said he would put my name down for it if it came up for auction.' The BBC buildings in White City will close down on 31 March, after being sold off for two hundred million smackers. They are to be converted into shops, offices and a hotel although the main studios will remain as, you know, studios. An alleged 'source' allegedly added: 'Vernon had obviously had a good night after post-show drinks. Everyone was trying to nick stuff, though. People were running out with pocketfuls of collectables. Vern was unlucky - he got caught. Successful looters made off with impressive swag, including a BBC News sign, furniture and toilet signs. Security guards were even searching cars to retrieve items that were going walkabouts.' Meanwhile, the buildings are said to have been 'stripped to the bone' by thieving employees looking out for souvenirs. Fast Show actor Rhys Thomas previously tweeted a photograph of himself with a BBC directions board, while Dave Berry wrote: 'Off to ghost town BBC Television Centre to work on a stunning TV show project and also to pinch some stuff.' Phillip Schofield was also reportedly 'saddened' to discover someone had already taken the sign from Studio Seven, where he used to film Going Live! And as for poor old Gordon the Gopher, somebody had it away with him weeks ago. An alleged 'insider' allegedly told the Scum Express: 'The whole place has been stripped to the bone. Everyone wants a sentimental souvenir from the building before it gets sold off. The only thing I saw when I left was a huge framed photo of Johnny Vegas in one of the observation galleries and some generic toilet signs. Just think how much they could have got for all that lot if it was auctioned for charity.' Producer Dave Walker tweeted on Thursday: 'I'm at Television Centre working on stuff for Vic and Bob's sitcom. It's a laugh. People are stealing things from the corridors. Cleaners are roaming the corridors thieving anything that isn't nailed down.' A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: 'We were made aware of notices pinned up in BBC TV Centre offices warning staff not to remove items. As the BBC has not contacted us directly we are not investigating.'

Which brings us nicely to yer actual Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 30 March
Sod everything else that's happening on TV tonight - or, indeed, this year - just make sure you're in front of your TV set and it's tuned to BBC1 at 6:15 tonight. Yer actual Doctor Who its very self is back. And, truly, this is glorious in my sight. The Time Lord (Matt Smith) returns for the first of eight new adventures following on from last year's series and the - really very good indeed - Christmas special. So, if you're taking noted this is 'series seven (B)'. In The Bells of Saint John, The Doctor finds himself in modern-day London in his search for Clara Oswald, the mysterious, funny, saucy, souffle-baking young lady who keeps dying then coming back to life in another time zone. But, there's a problem. Well, actually there's several - it's a Doctor Who episode so that sort of goes with the territory. But, let's stick with the main problem, to begin with. Something dangerous is lurking in the city's wi-fi signals, uploading people's minds and imprisoning them - a bit like Twitter but even more annoying - and among those targeted is none other than the woman he has travelled halfway across the galaxy to find. Horrorshow. (And drag.) Smudger his very self stars, with the extremely lovely Jenna Louise-Coleman making her first official appearance as new companion Clara (having played ill-fated variations of the character in two previous episodes) and with guest star the fabulous Celia Imrie. Anybody who even thinks about watching You've Been Framed instead of this will be horsewhipped through the streets until they're very sorry and promise never to do it again. No excuses will be accepted. You have all been warned.

Two of the most vacuous individuals currently working in the television industry, Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates, return to present the second series of The Voice - 7:00 BBC1 - the singing contest where the emphasis is on vocals rather than looks. Last year, it began with a bang but then, so does a puncture. After a few weeks the novelty wore off although ratings did recover towards the final and, overall, the BBC were highly pleased with their biggest new light entertainment hit in several years. But, this year, it needs to sort its format out and prove that it's different enough from The X Factor to matter. Coaches Sir Tom ('have I mentioned I was a mate of Elvis, me?') Jones, Jessie J, Will.He.Is and Danny O'Donoghue are all back to find the hottest new singer, although there are, apparently, a few changes. This year the popular chair-spinning blind auditions (which did prove to be such a hit last time around with viewers) will last longer, the battle rounds offer the coaches a chance to steal the rejected acts for their own teams and a new knock-out stage sees the hopefuls choose a 'killer song' in a bid to win a place in the live shows. The show kicks-off with a group performance by the coaches (if they massacre a few classics again, like they did last year, there'll be big trouble) before they begin the process of choosing twelve artists each.
Ant And/Or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - 7:00 ITV - features Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton in the voiceover booth. Meanwhile, the cheeky-chappie Geordie duo Doon th' Bigg Market, like, present more entertainment, surprises and competitions and recruit Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads to play 'an undercover prank' on odious oily louse and sacked former tabloid editor Piers Morgan. Is it too much to hope that this prank could possibly involve, you know, hammers. The rivalry continues in Ant versus Dec: Into the Unknown, Michael Buble performs at the end of the show and one member of the studio audience plays for the chance to take home the contents of a commercial break in Win the Ads.

Sunday 31 March
The Village - 9:00 BBC1 - is an epic new drama charting the life and turbulent times of an English village across the past century, as seen through the eyes of one resident as he lives from boyhood to extreme old age. The first series spans the years 1914 to 1920. Twelve-year-old Bert Middleton splits his days between working on the family farm, attending school and having secret swimming lessons with his older brother, Joe. But the Middletons are living in poverty - the farm is a constant struggle for their father John, who has turned to drink, and mum Grace, who has made many sacrifices in her battle to hold the family together and put food on the table. Maxine Peake, John Simm, Juliet Stevenson and Nico Mirallegro star, with Bill Jones and David Ryall as young and old Bert respectively.

You're rather spoiled for choice in drama tonight as there's also another new episode of Foyle's War - 9:00 ITV. Now working for MI5, the former detective's investigation into the death of a nameless Russian leads to a mysterious military facility run by one Colonel Harry Galt, a respected soldier with an impeccable war record. However, as Christopher Foyle makes his usual discreet inquiries, he soon realises that the deceased man was actually a spy with a number of highly dangerous connections to the British Intelligence services. Meanwhile, happy to have her old job again, Sam also does her best to help her husband, Adam, during his by-election campaign in Peckham, but can't help putting her foot in it. As usual. Crime drama, starring the excellent Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks, with Jonathan Hyde and Daniel Weyman.

Donald Campbell: Speed King - 9:00 BBC2 - is a, rather fine-looking, profile of the man who set eight world speed records on water and land in the 1950s and 1960s before dying attempting a ninth in 1967, using rare archive footage and first-hand testimonies from those who knew him. Campbell was spurred on by a desire to emulate his father Malcolm - who had also been a prolific record-breaker - but his career was dogged by ill-fortune and bad weather. Jim Broadbent narrates.

Monday 1 April
Bank Holiday Monday sees a new feature-length episode of the popular quirky crime drama Jonathan Creek - 8:30 BBC1. A dead body impossibly vanishes from a locked study - giving self-styled paranormal investigator Joey Ross a fresh mystery to solve. She could do with some help from her old sidekick, the master of illusion and prestidigitation Jonathan Creek - but he has moved on and shows little interest in the case. As Joey starts digging she meets the investigating officer - Gideon Pryke, a sharp-minded Detective Inspector who remembers Creek from one of his previous cases. But Pryke is not quite the man he used to be. Alan Davies stars, with Sheridan Smith, Rik Mayall, Joanna Lumley and Nigel Planer.

That's up against the fifth episode of the excellent Broadchurch - 9:00 ITV. So, again, it's a night where, if you enjoy a good bit of tasty crime drama, you're rather spooled for choice. As ever, use your recording devices wisely. In tonight's episode, Sergeant Miller comes to realise that the evidence Jack handed over does not tally with her knowledge of the murdered Danny's possessions, while Olly and Karen work together on an article about the newsagent's shady past. However, the next morning when they read the paper, they discover the piece has been rewritten to make Jack appear to be a sex offender - and the police can offer little protection. Tabloid sensationalism getting in the way of a murder investigation? Like that'd ever happen in real life. David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, David Bradley, Vicky McClure, Pauline Quirke, Arthur Darvill, Jonathan Bailey, Charlotte Beaumont, Marcus Garvey, Tracey Childs and Simon Rouse feature in something of a once-in-a-lifetime cast. The best new drama series ITV have produced in years.
It seems someone at BBC4 is becoming increasingly nostalgic for post-war British manufacturing. After several superb documentaries on the UK's jet aerospace industry, Magnificent Machines: The Golden Age of the British Sports Car - 9:00 - shines a bright light on the success stories of the humble sports car firms which carved a niche export market with small, exciting two-seaters in the 1950s. The documentary features a look at how iconic manufacturers such as Jaguar, Austin-Healey, MG and Triumph prospered during the austerity of the post-war years. The programme explores how Britain, albeit briefly, became the home of the two-seater vehicle and features memorable motors from the era, including the MG Midget, the Sprite and the Jaguar E-Type - 'as much fun as you could have in those days with your trousers on', apparently. Narrated by Tamsin Greig, with contributions from Stirling Moss and Quentin Willson.
In The Other Pompeii: Life and Death in Herculaneum - 9:00 BBC2 - Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill of the University of Cambridge examines the story of Herculaneum, which was also destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. He meets the scientists leading a forensic project into the human skeletal remains found there and then goes on a tour of the Roman town to provide an insight into the lives of its inhabitants, exploring the houses, wooden furniture and food that were preserved by a deep layer of ash.

Tuesday 2 April
A basketball coach at West Las Vegas University, known for his tyrannical - if successful - approach, is found bludgeoned to death in his locker room the night after quarrelling with the team's biggest benefactor in the latest CSI - 9:00 Channel Five. Investigations quickly reveal that at least two people may have been involved in the coach's grizzly demise and, when it emerges that DB Russell's son, Charlie, a star player on the college team, had also crossed swords with the victim on the eve of his death, he too becomes a suspect, along with his girlfriend. Crime drama, starring Ted Danson.

Dance enthusiast Rose's dream of foxtrotting around the ballroom again is fast becoming a reality as her lottery winnings mean she can come off the NHS waiting list and buy some new knees in The Syndicate - 9:00 BBC1. Well, it's every girl's dream, isn't it? However, the publicity from the syndicate's win has thrust her into the limelight - and soon there is an unwelcome knock at the door. But when she turns to Mandy for help, her friend seems distracted, and it becomes clear that she is not the only one with problems - with or without fourteen million smackers in the bank. Alison Steadman and Siobhan Finneran star in Kay Mellor's lottery-winning drama.
Tom Fort embarks on a one hundred and seventy-mile journey down the River Trent in his own custom-built punt in Crossing England In A Punt: River of Dreams - 9:00 BBC4. The presenter encounters the power stations that generate much of the nation's electricity, meets veterans of the floods of 1947 and learns about a Bronze Age boatman who made a life on the banks as he discovers the waterway's three thousand-year history.

Wednesday 3 April
It's the penultimate week of the heats in yer actual Keith Telly Topping's great less-than-guilty-secret MasterChef - 8:00 BBC1 - beginning with another five amateur cooks creating a dish from scratch, and then taking on the palate test in which they have to recreate John Torode's chicken pot pie with coleslaw without a recipe. Two of them are then extremely eliminated (that bit's especially amusing if one of them, as they usual do, bursts into tears at that point and wails about how they really wanted it so badly) and the three remaining hopefuls then get to work a busy lunchtime service at London's Bistro Fifty One. For no wages. Once upon a time we used to call that slavery, now, it's 'Wednesday night entertainment.' After all that, whilst still hot and sweaty, they head back to the MasterChef kitchen to cook two final courses, hoping to win a place in Friday's quarter-final. But, one of them won't. At which point, presumably, there'll be more tears. MasterChef, it's properly addictive and it makes people cry. A bit like heroin, really.

Hillsborough: Never Forgotten - 9:00 BBC2 - is, as you might expect, a documentary examining the impact of the revelations made in the official report by The Hillsborough Independent Panel, which was published in September 2012. Survivors, relatives of the dead and people who tended to the injured after the 1989 football disaster talk about how they coped with the false accusations that the victims were partly responsible for their own deaths pushed by several national newspapers - most notably, the Sun - and by the police. The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones - who led the investigation - also talks about how the report was pieced together. Shaun Dooley narrates.Well worth an hour of your time. Justice for the ninety six.

Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones return for a third series as the crime-fighting duo in Scott & Bailey - 9:00 ITV. Called to the home of an elderly couple who haven't been seen for a while, Janet discovers Eunice Bevan's severed head at the bottom of the stairs, with her body at the top, and her husband Joe in bed, emaciated and barely able to speak. Meanwhile, the detective puts her house on the market, admitting that her relationship with Ade is well and truly over. Meanwhile, three months into her marriage to traffic cop Sean, Rachel is starting to feel a little claustrophobic. Guest starring George Costigan and the great Nicola Walker.

In the fascinating-sounding Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home - 9:00 BBC4 - Suzannah Lipscomb reveals the dangers created in Victorian households when owners brought the latest gadgets and conveniences into their homes. In an era with no health and safety standards, they were often turning their homes into hazardous death traps.

Thursday 4 April
The Top Gear presenter and his team chase storms across the country as they attempt to take on the wrath of Mother Nature and actually catch a bolt of lightning in the latest James May's Man Lab - 9:00 BBC2. Also, James enters into the rock-paper-scissors world championships (for, indeed, there is such a thing), creates a Neighbourhood Watch team made up entirely of cats (this, yer actual Keith Telly Topping has to see) and makes a bar of soap - which involves some dangerous chemistry and a trip to a coal mine.

Chin awakes to discover tat he has been kidnapped and is currently being transported to Halawa prison, where he hopes not to be recognised by the various inmates that he is partly responsible for convicting in Hawaii Five-0 - 9:00 Sky 1. Meanwhile, Kono's suspicions about Michael increase following a strange phone call. And Danno gets all the best lines. As usual.

Former Dragons' Den investor Hilary Devey - and her massive shoulder pads - gives a number of 'young people' a chance to land their ideal jobs in The Intern - 9:00 Channel Four. Each week, Hilary sends three hopefuls on a trial with a prospective employer, during which they face a series of challenging situations that test their aptitude. Yes, that sounds like a wholly original concept which has never been done on TV before. In the first edition, candidates try to win a place on a leading hotel's management scheme, but how will they cope when a guest's car is towed away and Hugo Taylor (no, me neither) is caught in a compromising position?

The Beard of Despair Noel Edmonds presents tonight's Top of the Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - featuring music from The Boomtown Rats, Squeeze, yer actual Showaddywaddy, The Stylistics, Manhattan Transfer, Hot Chocolate, Paul McCartney and Wings, Sheila B Devotion and Andy Gibb. From 6 April 1978.

Friday 5 April
Comedy actor Stephen Mangan is in the host's chair for the return of the comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - poking fun at the week's headlines along with old hands Paul Merton and Ian Hislop. Their guests on the first show are Pointless co-presenter Richard Osman and broadcaster and Labour peer Joan Bakewell. as usual, whether it's a great episode or merely a very good one will, largely, depend on what sort of a new week it's been - quiet news weeks tend to see Merton at his best, ironically. But, if the government have been cocking things up with their usual regularity, stand back and watch yer man Hislop rip them a new buttonhole.

Lucy accidentally runs over a pet rabbit belonging to the daughter of an important client, so she needs someone to help cover her tracks in the first of a new series of Not Going Out - 9:30 BBC1. Unfortunately, the best people she has are Lee and Daisy. Comedy, starring Lee Mack, Sally Bretton and Katy Wix.

A repeat, but a stonking one, is Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane - 9:00 BBC4 - Brett Morgen's two-part documentary charting the fifty-year career of the rock band, providing an insight into their journey from blues-obsessed teenagers in the early 1960s to the stadium-fillers of the present day. The film features historical footage and interviews with band members yer actual Mick Jagger, Keith Richards his very self, Charlie Watts and Rockin' Ronnie Wood, as well as former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.
A television show to find a new Spice Girl is, allegedly, in the works after Victoria Beckham is said to have refused to rejoin the group for a tour. Beckham has, reportedly, declared that she will 'never sing with the Spice Girls again.' Not that she did an awful lot of singing first time around, to be fair. The remaining members of the band - Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Mel Brown - have now, allegedly, 'begun talks' with TV producers to create a reality show. The alleged show, thought to be allegedly called Wannabe Spice, will allegedly be led by Halliwell. Allegedly. Any current or former singers can apply, as well as unknowns. An alleged 'friend' of Beckham's allegedly told the Sunday Mirra: 'Victoria will not be performing with the Spice Girls again. She has nothing but love and respect for all of the girls and the journey they went on together. Now though, her focus is firmly on her family and her fashion business.' An alleged 'source' allegedly added: 'The girls, particularly Geri, all think there is so much more that they can achieve, and they know that their fans still want to see them perform. In an ideal world Victoria would be part of their plan, but she just won't budge. She sees her future in the fashion industry so they have had to come up with another scenario.' The alleged 'insider' allegedly added: 'Emma and both the Melanies are busy for the next year but are talking about doing something afterwards. It is a dream of Geri's to get the girls back together for a good tour, a bit like how Take That have done it. She can see a really successful future for the girls and in her usual determined way has got herself out there and spoken to the right people. She would give anything for this all to work out. She has spoken to TV production companies about how it would work and has got very excited. Things are gradually getting further down the line.'

A Burnley football fan has been invited to an interview for the vacant Blackburn Vindaloos manager position. James McDonough sent in a spoof application to the rival Lancashire club following the sacking of their manager Michael Appleton, the Burnley Express reports. McDonough lives close to Burnley's Turf Moor ground and is a season ticket holder there. He has now become the subject of a Facebook campaign to install him as Blackburn's new manager. Bookmakers BetVictor are believed to have spotted the campaign on the social networking site, leading them to include the Burnley fan in their list of potential candidates. His CV includes previous experience managing the Princess Royal pub team in the Warburton's Burnley Sunday League Division Two. McDonough admitted that he sent the application to Blackburn 'as a joke' and returned to his day job, not expecting any more to come of it. However, he was contacted by the Championship club about an interview. 'I received an e-mail from Blackburn Rovers inviting me for a job interview. Apparently forty per cent of all bets placed have been on me. I'm guessing it's mainly my friends and fellow Burnley fans!' The Vindaloos have had a troubled season in the Championship following their relegation from the top flight last year. They have had three managers already this season and are now looking for a fourth. Blackburn and Burnley played each other in a league fixture last weekend, which saw a chicken invade the pitch. The same thing has happened at Ewood Park previously, as part of a demonstration against owners Venky's, a chicken meat-processing company. 'I have to say my dream is to manage Blackburn in a great East Lancashire derby ... against Accrington Stanley. I would also love to achieve unprecedented back-to-back relegations at Ewood Park,' McDonough said.

Nestlé is recalling some of its varieties of Chunky Kit Kat after seven people found pieces of plastic in bars. Peanut butter, hazelnut, choc fudge and caramel forty eight gram bars are being recalled, along with Kit Kat Chunky collection giant eggs. The company said the products should be returned, unopened, for a full refund. Nestlé said the products were being recalled 'as a precautionary measure' and that no other Kit Kat products were affected. 'The safety and quality of our products are non-negotiable priorities for the company. We sincerely apologise to our consumers for any inconvenience caused by this voluntary recall,' the company said in a statement. The affected products are predominantly sold in the UK, with small amounts also sold in Germany, Switzerland, Malta, Austria, Singapore, the Philippines and Canada. Kit Kat is one of Nestlé's top-selling brands, with one hundred and fifty bars consumed worldwide every second. In fact, yer actual Keith Telly Topping thinks he'll have one right now. Have a break.

The main teachers union have passed a motion of no confidence in education secretary the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant and George Formby lookalike Gove and the chief inspector of England's schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw. Both are accused by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers of failing to improve education and not treating teachers or parents with respect. The vote of no confidence was passed overwhelmingly by three hundred delegates at the ATL's annual conference in Liverpool. It is understood to be first time that ATL has passed such a motion.

Pictures of The Beatles' 1965 Shea Stadium concert, taken by an amateur photographer who blagged his way backstage, have sold for more than thirty grand. Marc Weinstein used a fake press pass to get next to the stage for the historic New York show. The only other photographer present ran out of film during the gig. Weinstein's sixty one black and white images with copyright fetched thirty thousand six hundred and eighty smackers, compared with a pre-sale estimate of fifteen to twenty thousand notes, Omega Auctions said. Shea Stadium was The Beatles' biggest concert - and the biggest ever pop concert by any group at that time. It came at the height of Beatlemania and the band's music was infamously drowned out by the screams of the fifty five thousand-strong crowd. Weinstein later recalled how he used a home-made press pass to con a policeman into escorting him to the stage area. 'I just blended with everybody there,' he said. 'I had a method of operation; I just acted like I belonged. Anybody in authority, I would look the other way.' Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the successful bidder was 'a South American gentleman currently living in Washington [who] is a huge collector of Beatles memorabilia.' A further collection of sixty five unpublished colour slides of The Beatles taken by physicist Dr Robert Beck in 1964 sold for twenty seven thousand one hundred and forty knicker. They had an estimate of ten to fifteen grand.

A woman in Taiwan has divorced her husband after complaining about his small penis. The fifty two-year-old named Zhang stated her 'disappointment' at Zhou's failure to regularly satisfy her needs, reports the Daily Chilli. 'His penis is so small,' she is reported to have said, 'like a kid's - only five centimetres long. We've never had sex in our entire marriage.' Zhang added: 'He's also impotent and unable to fulfil his responsibility as a husband.' Zhou, fifty five, dismissed his ex-wife's claims that he is impotent, arguing that he simply wasn't in the mood at night. 'I prefer to have sex in the morning, but she wanted it around midnight,' he said. 'By then, I would be very tired.' The couple did not have premarital sex, with Zhang claiming that Zhou refused due to 'religious beliefs.'

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. This one's for everyone that's ever been lied to by their mothers and told that it's not size that's important it's what you do with it that counts. No, it really isn't.

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