Monday, April 08, 2013

And I Won't Quit Till I'm A Star

Last week's episode of Doctor Who - The Bells Of Saint John - had a final consolidated audience rating figure of 8.44 million punters making it the most watched programme on that particular Saturday night and the third most watched show of the entire week. That's a 2.26m timeshift in addition to the overnight figure, the third largest timeshift in the BBC's popular family SF drama's history (behind 2012's The Impossible Astronaut which had a 2.4m timeshift and the recent Christmas episode The Snowmen's 2.28m). This total, of course, does not take into account those who watched the episode online on iPlayer.

And, on that note, here's the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Three programmes, week-ending 31 March 2013:-
1 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.95m*
2 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.72m
3 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 8.44m
4 The Village - Sun BBC1 - 8.17m
5 Broadchurch - Mon ITV - 8.03m*
6 The Voice - Sat BBC1 - 7.47m
7 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 7.02m*
8 Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - Sat ITV - 6.93m*
9 Foyle's War - Sun ITV - 6.05m*
10 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 5.77m
11 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.62m
12 The Syndicate - Tue BBC1 - 5.58m
13 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.53m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.34m
15 The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins - Sat BBC1 - 5.34m
16 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.22m
17= Football: Montenegro Versus England - Tue ITV - 5.18m*
17= Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 5.18
19 Pompeii: The Mystery of the People Frozen In Time - Wed BBC1 - 5.06m
20 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 5.02m
21 MasterChef - Wed BBC1 - 4.81m
22 Prisoner's Wives - Thurs BBC1 - 4.74m
23 The Boat Race - Sun BBC1 - 4.57m
* = no ITV HD figures (or, indeed, BBC HD figures) were reported this week. BBC2's top rated show was University Challenge with 3.05m.

As reported on Sunday's blog update, Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway once again beat The Voice in overnight ratings on Saturday, albeit this time by a much smaller margin than last week. The final episode in the current run of Takeaway averaged 6.76 million viewers for ITV from 7pm, compared with the BBC1 singing competition's audience of 6.43 million. However, The Voice's audience grew just under two hundred thousand from the previous week's 6.2m launch, and it also scored the highest peak of the night with 8.7m. Earlier in the evening, the new Doctor Who episode - The Rings of Akhaten - attracted 5.5m viewers on BBC1 between 6.15pm and 7pm. Which, as noted, is almost exactly the same overnight figure as last year's second episode. It was a steady night for BBC1 with The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins pulling in an audience of 5.37m and Casualty being watched by 5.19m. On ITV The Cube was watched by 4.02m at 8.30pm, while The Jonathan Ross Show had 2.25m an hour later. On BBC2, The Many Faces of Sid James at 7.30pm was watched by 1.31m, while Dad's Army had 1.72m at 8.30pm and Qi XL an overnight audience of 1.41m half an hour later. Channel Four's new Tony Robinson vehicle, Walking Through History pulled in eight hundred and seventy thousand punters in the 8pm slot. Earlier in the day, the Grand National drew a peak audience of 8.29m in the fifteen minutes that contained the race itself from 4.15pm. No horses were harmed during this broadcast. Channel Four's full coverage of the Aintree meeting averaged 2.82m. Overall, BBC1 led Saturday primetime with 25.6 per cent of the audience share, beating ITV's 17.2 per cent. With the return of Britain;'s Got Talent next week, expect that to be the last time BBC1 wins the direct head-to-head for about the next thirteen weeks.

Catchphrase returned to ITV on Sunday night - tragically, without the great Roy Walker. Nevertheless, Stephen Mulhern's rebooted game show attracted a strong audience of 4.81 million viewers at 7pm, while the ITV version of risible hidden camera show Off Their Rockers was watched by 4.90m easily amused victims of society at 7.30pm. Foyle's War's final episode of its current series increased from last week surprisingly low figure to 5.65m at 8pm. And very good it was too. The ending was suitably ambiguous ('where now?' asked Sam. 'That's a good question' replied Foyle) so we'll have to wait an see if ITV recommission further episodes. They'd be mad not to, frankly. BBC1's Countryfile achieved the highest primetime ratings of the evening, with 6.32m people tuning in at 7pm. The Village dropped over a million viewers from last week's premiere episode although it still held a more than decent 5.31m audience at 8pm. BBC2's coverage of the MotoGP attracted 1.67m from 7.30pm, while comedy It's Kevin brought in but three hundred and forty six thousand punters at 10.30pm. Nick Hewer's Countdown to Freetown documentary was watched by three hundred and ninety one thousand at 7pm on Channel Four. The terrestrial TV début of The King's Speech attracted 2.17m at 9pm.

And, speaking of Foyle's War, about half way through last night's episode of the popular period espionage drama, a post-war style blue police telephone box was seen in the background of one scene as Michael Kitchen and Tim McMullan left their office in Whitehall. On closer inspection, this prop looked very much like ITV had simply rung up BBC Wales and borrowed the 2005 to 2010 TARDIS exterior shell. The only slight difference is that the 'FREE FOR USE OF PUBLIC' notice was white text on black rather than the other way around on the TARDIS prop.
As mentioned on several occasions in the past, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite TV reviewer currently working in the genre is the Metro's Keith Watson, a writer with an acidly pithy turn of phrase when required but, seemingly, a genuine love for television. Which immediately sets him apart from the majority of his colleagues who, seemingly, can't bloody stand the medium. His review of this week's Doctor Who is a case in point. He's got it spot on: 'Such was the galaxy of familiar alien characters roaming around the alleys in The Rings Of Akhaten, there was a feeling we were trapped in a giant sci-fi in-joke. Or a fan convention. The make-up room must have been quite something that day. When the story got going, its rumination on the importance of honouring the infinite possibilities lost to those who never got to live their futures was actually quite moving. It culminated in a quasi-Shakespearean speech ("what was – and what should have been") delivered by Matt Smith with killer blokeish sensitivity. That boy's Hamlet will be quite something. Somehow, though, the excitement feels a touch forced. Still, Clara now has a catchphrase ("oh my stars!") and the central relationship is bubbling up nicely. But Doctor Who needs to stop straining quite so hard to be big and profound and important every week. Small can be beautiful too.' See what I mean? Perceptive chap, that Watto.

Keith his very self then turned his attention to the opening episode of BBC4's Arne Dahl series: 'Saturday night is Scandinavian Death Night and not just at my local thrash metal club,' he wrote. 'There's something supremely comforting about having the freezing willies put up you by moody bearded men and subtitles where the letter "O" can look like it's been slashed by a mad knifeman. So my heart of darkness was primed for Arne Dahl, the latest police drama to slip its Scandic moorings and find safe harbour at the BBC. This one is Swedish and comes with a credible pedigree, adapted as it is from a series of bestsellers by author Jan Arnald. The title is, in fact, a virtual anagram of the author's name, a fact I wished I'd cottoned on to before the start, because I kept wondering when this Arne feller was going to turn up. He never did. Which was part of the problem I had with Arne Dahl the show. Yes, it was full of atmosphere and good at Swedish domestic detail but who were we supposed to be focusing on? The Killing had Sarah Lund, Wallander had Wallander – but Arne Dahl is built around a six-strong elite squad pulled together by a senior detective (a kind of Jane Tennison type) to crack a serial killer case. It's tough figuring out the killer when you're not clear on which detective is which. The lion's share of screen time in the opening double bill went to a trigger-happy beard called Paul, who'd shot a kidnapper in the opening scene and had been up on a disciplinary until being plucked away for special duty. He was presumably meant to supply the show's existential angst but just came off like he needed a good shave. Interesting themes bubbled to the surface, Swedish masons and Estonian mafia making their ugly presence felt as fat-cat financiers got bumped off one-by-one. But the suspicion sneaked in that we'd moved down the Scandinavian crime food chain here. On this evidence Arne Dahl is solid and serviceable, a Swedish George Gently, if you like. But it's no Killing – or even a patch on Broadchurch.'

Moving directly on to Broadchurch - as previously noted, yer actual Keith Telly Topping don't just throw these things together, you know - Vicky McClure has revealed that viewers will be 'shocked' when they discover the identity of the show's killer. Well, one should certainly hope so as, by that time, they'll have been kept in suspense for eight whole episodes. The actress - who plays scummy journalist Karen White on the really very good indeed ITV drama - has admitted that she gets asked who the killer is virtually every day according to the Sunday People (in a story they picked up from the Entertainmentwise website). 'Every day I get asked who the killer is – but I'm never going to say,' Vicky claimed. McClure added that none of the cast knew the identity of Danny Latimer's murderer until the end of filming. 'We filmed it not knowing, which was great because it added to the tension on set. When we did find out it was a big surprise. I think people are going to be shocked when it is revealed,' she said. The Chris Chibnall drama has been a massive, and very welcome, ratings hit for ITV who - Scott & Bailey aside - appeared to have forgotten how to make drama over the last couple of years. The popular series has also received attention from bookmakers who have let punters place their bets on who they think is the show's killer. Joe Miller, husband of Olivia Coleman's character, has been made the favourite by bookmakers to be revealed as the killer when the show concludes in two weeks. He is closely followed by Ellie's teenage son, Tom, and the now-deceased Jack Marshall, played by David Bradley. So, if you've had money on him, that was a bit of a waste, really. In tonight's episode, paranoia has reached fever pitch in the small seaside town, with the compelling crime drama successfully casting suspicion on almost every member of the community, including several who should be way above it. With no fresh leads in the Danny Latimer case, pressure is mounting on the police from all sides – even mild-mannered Reverend Paul Coates (a quite superb turn by Arthur Darvill) vents his frustration with Alec Hardy (former national heart-throb David Tennant). Is Hardy really, as scum tabloid headlines suggest, The Worst Cop in Britain? As for Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), her immediate concern is for her own son, as Hardy arranges for the boy to step on to a skateboard in a reconstruction of the last moments of Danny’s life.

Richard Lintern has joined the cast of Silent Witness. The Spies of Warsaw actor will play new lead character Doctor Thomas Chamberlain in the BBC1 drama. Chamberlain is an experienced forensic pathologist with a renowned reputation in toxicology. He is described as 'a charismatic and shrewd social player.' The character will lead the Lyell Centre following the death of Leo Dalton (played by William Gaminara) in the previous series. Richard Lintern said: 'I am delighted to be joining the cast of Silent Witness. My character, Thomas Chamberlain, seems destined to ruffle a few feathers, and I very much look forward to seeing how his story develops. I have enjoyed watching the show for some time now, so it is a real pleasure to be joining the production team.' Kate Harwood, head of drama, added: 'I am very happy to welcome Richard Lintern to the Lyell Centre - I feel certain that Thomas Chamberlain is going to be an intelligent, charming and authoritative addition to the team and that the audience will love meeting him in Tim Prager's bravura opening episode Commodity.' Lintern is also known for his roles in White Heat, Endeavor and The Shadow Line.

The BBC has reportedly purchased the rights to Kathy Lette's novel To Love, Honour and Betray. The romance story will apparently be developed into a one-off series, the author told the Torygraph. 'They're going to do it as a mini-series. It's set in Australia and it's about the tension between a mother and her daughter because, believe me, having a teenage daughter is like living with the Taliban. As the mother, you're living under a repressive regime – you're not allowed to sing, dance or wear short skirts.' While Lette has a nineteen-year-old daughter herself with husband Geoffrey Robertson, she insisted that the novel is not based on her own experiences. Among the storylines include a love triangle between the mother and daughter characters. She added: 'I get to go to Australia soon to drive around in a convertible and do an open casting looking for hunks to play the love interest.' Lette's novel The Boy Who Fell to Earth was bought by actress Emily Mortimer to be developed into a movie version last year. Stephen Fry will write the screenplay, while Mortimer will play a mother who is bringing up an autistic child.

House of Cards author Michael Dobbs has revealed he is working on 'a very major project' with the creator of Danish political drama Borgen, Adam Price. The Conservative peer said the project had 'a pretty good pedigree' and would 'hopefully be on BBC screens' in 2014. Dramatised by the BBC in 1990, Dobbs' House of Cards recently inspired a - rather good, if still not a patch on the original - US remake starring Kevin Spacey. Borgen, created by Adam, tells of a politician who becomes Denmark's first female prime minister. And is, currently, the best TV show in the world ... that doesn't have the words 'Doctor' and 'Who' in the title, anyway. Dobbs confirmed to Sunday's edition of The World This Weekend on Radio 4 that he had 'got together' with Price to work. No details of the collaboration were forthcoming, though the author and politician did express an interest in telling the 'real story' of Denis Thatcher. 'What a brilliant character to base a play on,' he said of Margaret Thatcher's late husband, describing him as 'misunderstood' and 'wonderfully strong.' The original House of Cards told of a conniving chief whip, played by Ian Richardson, who uses duplicity and guile (and at least one murder) to have himself elevated to the post of Conservative prime minister. The US remake, produced by the online streaming service Netflix, stars Kevin Spacey and relocates the action to Washington DC but, otherwsie, tells essentially the same story.

Yer actual Lord Noddy Holder OBE is reportedly 'wanted' for this year's Strictly Come Dancing. This is according to the Sun, mind you, so it's probably a load of made-up shite. The Nodster his very self, the former Slade front man has, allegedly, 'revealed' that he has, allegedly, 'been approached' by 'BBC bosses' (that's producers, only with less syllables) to join the '2013 line-up of stars.' However, Nod explained that he will only take part if he feels he stands a decent chance of winning. 'I get asked to do all the reality shows, but I'm in my late sixties now. I can't be going to the North Pole and the jungle,' Holder is quoted as telling the Sun. 'I have been asked to do Strictly and I like the show - I've been down to watch it being filmed with my missus, who is a huge fan and keeps badgering me to do it. But it's a lot of work. I know Johnny Ball did it and he's almost ten years older than me, but he went out in the first week. I'm competitive and I want to think I'd have a chance of winning it.'

Odious talentless greed-bucket (and drag) Alesha Dixon has 'backed' ITV's decision to put Britain's Got Talent up against The Voice in the schedules. But, nobody gives a toss what that utter waste of space thinks. About pretty much anything. So, next ...

Brian Cox, particle physicist and BBC science megastar, can no longer visit his favourite pub for 'fear of being mobbed.' But he denies that his students at Manchester University were star-struck by him, reports the Daily Torygraph. Wait a minute, wasn't this the same Brian Cox that was once the keyboard player in D:Ream? Indeed, and Foxy Coxy says that his brief flirtation with pop stardom is what has kept him sane – it taught him not to listen to the critics. Sensible chap, that Brian Cox quite apart from being vastly intelligent.
Sir Ian Mckellen reportedly asked TV bosses to change the title of his new ITV sitcom, because he didn't like the connotations of the original name, Vicious Old Queens. The seventy three-year-old said: 'When it was suggested to me that I might be involved, I said, "What on earth do you mean? I'm most offended - I'm not old!"' The show, which also stars Derek Jacobi, is now called just Vicious.

New details have emerged of the forthcoming Blake's Seven remake. US cable network Syfy has developed the remake of the cult SF drama with FremantleMedia International. Thirteen hour-long episodes - written by Joe Pokaski and, at least some of them, directed by Martin Campbell - will be produced by Georgeville TV. The new Blake's Seven - set in the year 2136 - is described as a 'revolutionary reinvention' of the BBC's 1978-1981 drama. 'Blake's Seven was such a forward-thinking concept that the show continues to have resonance with audiences today,' claimed David Ellender, CEO FremantleMedia International. 'Its complex characters and gritty storylines, coupled with the highly talented team and modern production techniques are sure to appeal to both original fans of the show and new viewers.' Bet it doesn't, though. Blake's Seven was created by Terry Nation. The original - gloriously cheap but, almost despite itself, rather good - drama starred Gareth Thomas as the eponymous Roj Blake, alongside the likes of Paul Darrow and Jacqueline Pearce.
Few BBC online news stories will have been read with as much quiet glee internally as last week's embarrassing incident for Rob Wilson, when the Tory MP (intending to post a link to Guido Fawkes's blog) accidentally tweeted a link to a hardcore porn site. As Wilson has spent a decent part of the last few months bombarding the Beeb with questions (who knew what, when?) about the Savile fiasco, considerable restraint was clearly required of those who had to answer them, to avoid succumbing to the temptation to fire off a series of queries to Wilson demanding an explanation for his actions. But, of course, they didn't. Because the BBC, as a collective, has far more style than that.

BSkyB has refused to broadcast a multimillion-pound TV advertising campaign BT promoting its Premier League and other sports coverage. On Monday, it emerged that BT has complained to media watchdog Ofcom about the satellite giant's actions, in an escalation of the bitter rivalry between the two media giants. BT, which spent over seven hundred million quid to acquire thirty eight top flight Premier League matches a season, is set to spend millions of pounds on advertising the launch of two new sports channels from July. Its Premiership coverage will launch from 17 August. A key part of BT's strategy to build awareness and viewers is to run TV advertising on BSkyB targeting the existing football and sports fans among its ten million-plus subscriber base. However, BSkyB has refused to shown BT's advertising campaign – which, as well as football was to highlight other sports it has secured TV rights for including Premiership Rugby, European Cup Rugby and top-flight women's tennis – although it is not clear on what grounds. Maybe just cbecause it feels like it. Under the broadcasting code TV companies are, apparently, 'compelled' to show advertising campaigns and promotions run booked by rivals. BT has lodged a complaint with Ofcom on the grounds that BSkyB is showing 'undue discrimination' against it by refusing to shown the campaign. 'We are happy to take Sky's advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours,' said John Petter, managing director of consumer for BT Retail. 'It's like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy.'

A theatre has banned Jim Davidson, saying that he's 'too offensive.' The controversial comic played The Marlowe in Canterbury last year but venue director Mark Everett has publicly refused to book his touring show again. Everett said that he would 'think about' booking Frankie Boyle, despite his reputation for bad-taste gags. Everett told his local paper: 'Jim Davidson believes that I don't like his material, which is true. I have an incredibly mixed programme and I am not shy about upsetting people, but there is a step too far. Jim hasn't done himself any favours. He is a great comic but his material is offensive to so many people He generates such strong feeling, particularly among women and the disabled. For some it would tarnish the Marlowe's name. I have no doubt that if we booked him he would sell out. But we are not just in the business of selling out performances.' Writing on his blog, Davidson responded: ‘Sad but it is up to him, he’s the boss. ‘The reason he gives is a false one of course, but he can’t give his real reasons. I suspect that they are political. I am not alone at being banned from there.' In January 2013, Davidson was arrested by detectives investigating alleged sexual offences as part of Operation Yewtree. Davidson's solicitor stated that Davidson 'vigorously denies' the allegations. On 20 March 2013 he was re-arrested over fresh allegations of sexual offences. He also denies those.

And, speaking of odious bullies whom no one can stand, the Leeds chairman Ken Bates is facing calls for a charge of bringing the game into disrepute to be brought against him after an Ofcom ruling upheld a complaint of 'unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy' from the Leeds United Supporters' Trust. The trust's chairman, Gary Cooper, has called on the Football Association to 'hold Bates accountable' after an Ofcom report found that Bates had used his position as the Leeds chairman to 'access computer files' and 'broadcast private information' through the club's in-house station Yorkshire Radio. Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industry, found that two separate interviews with Bates, broadcast in February 2012, 'were likely to have materially or adversely affected listeners' views of Mr Cooper' and that 'Cooper's privacy was unwarrantably infringed.' A disrepute charge against Bates has been held in abeyance by the FA since August last year and Cooper, who has demanded a full - and, frankly, grovelling - apology from Bates, believes that Bates has 'manipulated his authority' as club chairman. The charge is being held in abeyance owing to a court case which Bates is bringing against the former Leeds director Melvyn Levi. Bates was ordered to pay considerable damages to Levi in a separate case last year when he was found to have 'harassed' the former director through his match-day programme notes and Yorkshire Radio. 'I will be contacting the FA directly and asking them to look again into the charge held in abeyance at the moment,' Cooper said. 'This conclusively proves that Mr Bates has manipulated his own authority and his own radio station to pursue a personal agenda against the head of a supporters' group. I hope this inspires somebody, like the FA, to hold this man accountable for his own actions. Our concerns are for our members and for the wider Leeds United supporter base. As a customer you would hope that the club would respect our rights in the Data Protection Act. Ofcom asked me what I would like to see as a consequence of his actions and I said I will accept nothing less than a public apology in the same way that he made the comments and allegations in the first place.' In the two interviews Bates responded to criticism from the trust, which has more than nine thousand members and is formed according to the legal regulations of Supporters Direct, regarding the financial running of the club. In the first, broadcast on 15 February, Bates said of Cooper: 'I've just been looking at our computer, he's a season ticket holder this season, who didn't come at all last season – his excuse to me when I quizzed him about it a year ago was "family commitments." Well that's as maybe, it hardly makes [him] justified or qualified to claim to speak for the ordinary fans, does it?' During a separate broadcast two weeks later, Bates added: 'I should mention the chairman, a Mr Gary Cooper; I understand he's an IT technician so he's never had to run a business and make a profit and be accountable. He didn't come to a game last season. He's bought a season ticket this year and stated that he would not be coming next year, so who does he think he is? Who does he think he represents? Who does he speak for? Nobody, except himself.' And, nine thousand other people, seemingly. Cooper claims that he was given no right to reply and that, in fact, he attended more games than his customer profile suggested during the 2010-11 season, despite not purchasing the tickets himself. 'I went to about a dozen games during the course of that season,' Cooper said. 'He doesn't mention the seasons before when I'm attending twenty and God knows how many games per season at home. Rather than buying the tickets myself, my brother and my brother-in-law bought tickets and took me to the games.' Yorkshire Radio argued that its broadcast was in the public interest as part of Bates's reply to the perceived attacks on him. In response to Cooper's claim that he was not given the right to respond, Yorkshire Radio argued that it gave fans the opportunity to reply to broadcast material and that the station featured a phone-in programme after every game in which he could have responded. Ofcom found that the statements from Bates on the radio 'were likely to have materially or adversely affected listeners' views of Mr Cooper' and that Cooper's privacy 'was unwarrantably infringed in connection with the obtaining of material included in the programmes.' Ofcom considered that, although it was impracticable for Yorkshire Radio to have given Cooper an opportunity to respond because of the live format of the programme, the station did not make it clear to listeners that Cooper was not in a position to respond and Ofcom found 'there was unfairness in this respect.' Bates will become an honorary life president of Leeds at the end of the season having sold the club to the Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital last year.

Yer actual Papiss Demba Cissé scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) and injury-hit Magpies deservedly beat Fulham to move five points clear of the Premiership relegation zone. After hitting the post and missing a number of other chances, Cissé volleyed home with virtually the last kick of the game. Mid-table Fulham went close in either half through Dimitar Berbatov, but they were under sustained pressure from Newcastle for long periods. Vurnon Anita shot against the bar and Yoann Gouffran also hit the post before Cissé secured victory right at the death. It was the third time Newcastle had scored a stoppage-time winner in their last four Premier League games at St James' Park. But more importantly for the Magpies, it eases relegation concerns which had intensified amid a run of three defeats in four games. Fulham looked to have survived Newcastle's bombardment to escape with a point, only for their efforts to be undermined at the last. While this brings to an end their three-match unbeaten run away from home, they remain in tenth place. Martin Jol's side made the better start and Berbatov almost scored for the fifth consecutive match with a curling strike. Newcastle's attempts to establish a rhythm was hampered when left-back David Santon limped off with a hamstring problem - Alan Pardew's latest in a long list of injury concerns. To the manager's credit, he stuck with the four-four-two formation which paired Cissé and Gouffran up front, and his side managed to build a degree of momentum as Fulham offered little going forward. The best chances fell to Cissé, but the Senegal striker curled a shot narrowly wide before blazing a shot over the bar. Newcastle's profligacy seemed to give Fulham confidence and, as the first half drew to a close, it took a fine Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa block to thwart Bryan Ruiz before Tim Krul denied Stanislav Manolev. The Magpies have conceded more second-half goals than any other Premier League side bar Aston Villains, but on this occasion they found themselves encamped inside opposition territory for long periods. Anita - Santon's replacement - set the tone with a drive that was deflected on to the bar by Fulham substitute Emmanuel Frimpong, while Cissé was let down by a poor touch in front of goal. They again went close when Sylvain Marveaux's corner was headed on to a post by Gouffran - it may have touched Sascha Riether arm on the way through - and Cissé immediately hit the same upright with the follow-up. Newcastle still looked stunned by their failure to score when Fulham went up the other end and Berbatov drew a superb diving save from Krul with a header from John Arne Riise's free-kick. Jol introduced Hugo Rodallega and he almost made an immediate impact, only to lose his balance when seemingly clean through. Although Newcastle flooded forward towards the end, their hopes appeared to die when Mark Schwarzer kept out a superb Cissé near-post header. However, the front man would have one last chance, controlling Yohan Cabaye's shot and reacting quickest to drill past Schwartz in the ninety fifth minute. In the day's other games, Moscow Chelski FC beat Paulo Di Canio's Blunderland Black Shirts 2-1 (which was good for a laugh), Stottingtot Hotshots came from behind to draw 2-2 with Everton, The Hamsters and Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws shared the spoils in a goalless draw at Upton Park and Hapless Harry's relegation-haunted ten-man Queens Park Strangers also drew, 1-1, with thuggish horrible Wigan and their odious risible louse of a gobshite chairman.

Oh, and former prime minister Margaret Thatcher died today it has been reported. As a friend of mine wisely noted: 'Please remember, she had a family. Let us show the same compassion that she showed millions during her tenure as Prime Minister.' Quite.

And so to today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, here's a pure dead choice Gary Numan rarity (and one of Billy Currie's finest moments).

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