Sunday, April 07, 2013

Week Sixteen: Born Under A Bad Sign With The Blue Moon In Your Eyes

Saturday night's Doctor Who episode, The Rings of Akhaten - which, if Facebook is anything to go by, seems to have gone down like a fart in a spacesuit with the cognoscenti. So if, like yer actual Keith Telly Topping you rather enjoyed bits of it, then you're, clearly, a brain damaged moron or the victim of a cruel medical experiment according to The Special People - had an overnight audience of 5.5m viewers. That's almost identical to the overnight figure for last year's second episode of the series. Expect a final consolidated figure of somewhere around 7.3 million or perhaps a bit higher for the episode. The Voice's overnights (6.43m) actually rose slightly from last week. Ant and/or Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway was, again, the most watched show in primetime in terms of overnight ratings with 6.77m. The Grand National coverage on Channel Four drew a peak audience of 8.29m in the fifteen minutes from 4.15, that's down on the BBC's coverage of the race in 2011 (8.8m) and 2012 (ten million), but up on 2010 (7.9m). It was a steady, rather than spectacular night for BBC1 with The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins garnering an audience of 5.37m and Casualty being watched by 5.19m.

One of the most thoroughly satisfying things about Friday's overnight ratings was, yet again, watching Have I Got News For You (5.45m) and, to a lesser extent, Not Going Out (4.21m) giving ITV's risible, odious Piers Morgan's Life Stories (3.37m) a damned good harsh shellacking in the Jacob's cream crackers. Glorious in my sight, so it was. There's nowt better in life than observing such an occurrence, frankly. Not even winning a million quid. One imagines the smirk on Ian Hislop's face will, roughly, equal the scowl on his mortal nemesis Morgan's greasy boat on Saturday morning when the figures were announced. Good. ITV's night was, as usual, dominated by their soaps - Emmerdale pulling in 6.45m at 7pm and two episodes of Coronation Street at 7:30pm and 8:30pm being watched by 8.4m and 8.67m viewers respectively. The latter hugely affected BBC1's MasterChef which had been pulling in a steady five million punters all week but dropped to 3.51m for the half-hour show opposite Corrie's second episode. Still better than odious, oily Piers Morgan and his ridiculous nonsense chat show could manage, of course. EastEnders continues to struggle like a man wading through treacle at the moment, only managing a rather underwhelming 6.95m at 8pm, despite just having The Martin Lewis Money Show (3.35m) as opposition. The ONE Show (4.24m) and The Graham Norton Show (3.65m) topped and tailed the night for the Beeb.

And so to the Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 13 April
Tonight's episode of yer actual Doctor Who, Cold War has been scheduled for 6pm on BBC1. This is earlier than usual because Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads' Britain's Got Toilets is back tonight and Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads has, clearly, decided to try and castrate The Voice at birth by provoking a scheduling clash. Which, in turn, has caused the BBC to shite in its own pants and move The Voice back fifteen minutes thus knackering up Doctor Who's start time. Hip-hurrah for Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced chef from Crossroads and all his works. You're an example to us all. Anyway, in Cold War by yer actual Mark Gatiss, The Doctor and Clara land on a damaged Russian submarine in 1983 as it spirals out of control into the ocean depths. If it's got a captain with a curioushly Schottish accshent then be afraid. Be very afraid. And prepare to schail into hishtory. To make matters worse, an alien creature is loose on board, having escaped from a block of Arctic ice - and with tempers flaring and a cargo of nuclear weapons, it's not just the crew but the whole of humanity at stake. At which point, The Doctor finds the alien to be oddly familiar. Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman their very selves star. Liam Cunningham and David Warner are the guest stars.

In the concluding part of Arne Dahl's thriller The Blinded Man - 9:00 BBc4 - CID Inspector Jenny Hultin continues to lead the investigation by the so-called A Unit after three Swedish businessmen are murdered, while the financial world is left in panic. Under enormous pressure, the team tries to solve the case before more finance officers are killed. Swedish drama, starring Irene Lindh.

Charlie, Miles and Nora unite with Aaron and Maggie as they continue their search for Danny in Revolution - 9:00 Sky1. However, trouble ensues when they kill a vicious dog and its owner exacts revenge. Danny is presented with a chance to escape his underground bunker, while Rachel - also being held prisoner by General Monroe - is forced to reveal information regarding Ben's role in the blackout. Decent, if occasionally more than a bit bonkers, US drama set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future and starring Graham Rogers, David Lyons and Elizabeth Mitchell.

Sunday 14 April
Following on from last year's successful pilot episode, Endeavour the Inspector Morse prequel returns - 9:00 ITV - with Shaun Evans playing a younger version of the cerebral detective. When an outwardly respectable GP is unexpectedly found dead in a public lavatory, Endeavour's outlandish theories as to why he was there see him relegated to general duties by his senior officers. Humiliated and humbled, Morse has to investigate from the sidelines, but he's soon forced to question Detective Inspector Fred Thursday's orders and risk his career to avert a family tragedy. Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, Sean Rigby and James Bradshaw co-star.

To mark her eightieth birthday, pioneering female broadcaster of the 1960s Joan Bakewell (once described as 'the thinking man's crumpet' and quite superb on this week's Have I Got News For You) subjects herself to an interrogation by yer actual Sir David Frost his very self. They look back on more than fifty years at the heart of television and a life often lived in the glare of celebrity in When Frost Met Bakewell: Joan Bakewell at Eighty - 9:00 BBC4. The couple revisit Joan's early years as the face of Late Night Line Up, the programme that broke the rules of polite television, and her days on Newsnight, covering the arts, entertainment and politics.

A manhunt is sparked when an HPD officer is killed by a sniper in broad daylight, and the team discovers that the bullet casing was engraved with the victim's name in Hawaii Five-0 - 9:00 Sky1. When another cop is executed by the criminal in the line of duty, Steve McGarrett finds himself delving into his father's past to prevent more shootings. Crime drama, directed by and guest starring the great Peter Weller, with regulars Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.

Monday 15 April
Following recent events in Broadchurch - 9:00 ITV - Ellie Miller is more isolated than ever before as she tries to find out what happened to Danny at the cliff top hut. Meanwhile, the police are circling around the sinister and foul-mouthed Susan (Pauline Quirke) as a nervous Nige (Joe Sims) grows more desperate for her to leave Broadchurch. What, exactly is she hiding? And why? And which member (or members) of the local community hold the ultimate key to the identity of Danny's killer? Detective drama, written by Chris Chibnall and starring a supurb cast which includes former national heart-throb David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill and Jodie Whittaker.

Lucy Worsley and her dangerously sexy lisp explores the medical histories of Britain's monarchs from the later Stuarts to the birth of the Hanoverian dynasty in the second part of Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History - 9:00 BBC2. Lucy examines the infertility of William III and the extraordinary lengths that parliament employed to find a Protestant successor when Queen Anne died without a surviving heir. The Hanoverians had no difficulties carrying on their line, but were beset by other problems. Worsley explores the reasons behind the so-called madness of George III, and looks at George IV's battle with obesity, alcohol and drugs.

Sarah Lancashire narrates a history of trams in Britain, exploring why they became a popular form of transport in cities and towns at the start of the Twentieth Century, and charting their evolution from horse-drawn coaches to electrically powered vehicles in Timeshift, The Golden Age Of The Tram: A Streetcar Named Desire - 9:00 BBC4. The programme also discovers why networks were largely phased out from the 1950s onwards, before recently being reintroduced in areas including Greater Manchester and Croydon. As Alan Bennett reads his short story Leeds Trams, the film delivers a potted history, with some great nuggets of information – the Nineteenth Century infant mortality rate was linked by some to the huge amount of dung left in the streets by horse-drawn trams. Ken Dodd and Roy Hattersley recall childhood memories of the fun to be had aboard the gliding symbols of civic pride. But the best moments feature tram enthusiast Richard Wiseman and his wife Anne when they visit the tram that saved his life during the Second World War and talk about their honeymoon ride on Glasgow's extensive tram network.

Journalist Chris Terrill investigates when he meets three ex-servicemen who have post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by their experiences of life on the front line in Battle Scarred - 10:00 Channel Five. Liam lost an eye and suffered severe injuries in Afghanistan in 2010 and started to spiral out of control after he turned to drink - until he discovered acting as a way of dealing with his demons. Terrill also talks to Simon and Rich, who are trying to rehabilitate themselves through Surf Action, an initiative aimed at helping combat veterans.

Tuesday 16 April
A malfunctioning rocket crash-lands in the desert and exposes a mass grave in the middle of the desert in the opening scenes of the latest episode of CSI - 9:00. Finlay recognises a necklace on one of the bodies from a case she worked on in Seattle involving the suspected murder of a woman, which she pinned on real-estate mogul Tom Cooley. She never found the necessary evidence to close the inquiry and her badgering of the suspect ended her career there. Against Russell's wishes, Finlay heads to Seattle to confront Cooley, who is offering a reward for information leading to the capture of the woman's killer. Guest starring Dylan Walsh.

In The Secret Life of Rockpools - 9:00 BBc4 - palaeontologist Professor Richard Fortey explores the species that live within the seaside water formations, some of which have existed for millions of years. He is joined by some of the UK's leading marine biologists at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to reveal new insights into the creatures' lives.

Lovable porter Alan has lived a simple, sober life ever since his wife and kids left - with just a loft full of cannabis to keep him going. So when he wins the lottery and gets a taste for the millionaire's lifestyle, it's a slippery slope from champagne to vodka as the booze takes hold of him once again, as told in The Syndicate - 9:00 BBC1. Before long, Alan has bought a classic car, an expensive watch and even a yacht - but what he really wants is something that money may not be able to buy - someone to share his winnings with. Mark Addy stars in the penultimate episode of the drama, with Alison Steadman, Siobhan Finneran, Jimi Mistry and Natalie Gavin.

Wednesday 17 April
After five weeks of heats, fifty hopefuls have been whittled down to the most promising twelve in MasterChef - 8:00 BBC1. it should have been ten but, John and Gregg got a bit generous, twice. But if the delighted dozen thought it was tough getting this far, the knockout stage will really sort the dishwashers from the chefs, as over the next two nights the remaining contestants are split into two groups of six to enter the hectic world of mass catering. Tonight's first group finds itself at Heathrow Airport, preparing lunch for more than two hundred employees at British Airways' maintenance base. Then it's back to the MasterChef HQ, where they have to rustle up twenty breakfast portions in just one hour, before the weakest individuals face each other in a cook-off to determine who will make it through to Friday's 'showstopper' challenge.

The presenters seek out the ideal locations to enjoy their personal passions in the latest episode of Coast - 8:00 BBC2. Nick Crane heads to the Inner Hebrides to attempt a mountaineering challenge on the Isle of Skye, and reveals how Thomas Cook was inspired in the mid-Nineteenth Century to create his famous package tours by the steamships criss-crossing Scottish waters. Avid knitter Ruth Goodman gets some tips for completing a complex fisherman's chunky jumper by visiting Polperro in Cornwall, learning how people's livelihoods one hundred and fifty years ago depended on their skills at making workwear to order. The poet Ian McMillan looks for creative ideas in the Cornish seaside resort of St Ives and explores the life and work of self-taught artist Alfred Wallis and Tessa Dunlop explores the glamorous history of British lidos - public outdoor swimming pools that sprang up around the UK in the 1930s.

Temperance Brennan is shot as she investigates a murder that has been made to look like suicide, and experiences a dream-like reunion with her dead mother after being rushed to hospital in Bones - 9:00 Sky Living. The absence of a bullet and an exit wound suggest the culprit possesses an astute scientific knowledge, prompting Booth and his colleagues to suspect that someone inside the Jeffersonian itself could hold the answers.

The detectives investigate the murder of a wealthy man whose double life left him vulnerable to exploitation in Scott & Bailey - 9:00 ITV. Away from work, Rachel's recent moment of indiscretion threatens to come back to haunt her when a confused Sean takes a phone call from her one-night stand, and after Ade is pushed into living with his girlfriend on a permanent basis, Janet asks her mother to move in.

Thursday 18 April
Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? asks BBC2 at 9:00. Probably not, is the obvious answer. The destructive effects of tsunamis has been all too evident in recent years, with the one on Boxing Day 2004 killing around a quarter of a million people in Southern Asia and another striking Japan in March 2011 - bringing one of the world's most advanced countries close to a nuclear catastrophe. This documentary uses the latest scientific modelling to present a minute-by-minute account of what might happen if there was a mega-tsunami in the Atlantic, and what would it do to cities including Casablanca, Lisbon, London and New York.
Arty Andrew Graham-Dixon reveals how the entrepreneurial and industrious region of the Low Countries rose to become a cultural leader in the modern age, and despite its small size, managed to produce important forward-thinking artists such as Van Gogh, Delvaux and Magritte in the final part of The High Art of the Low Countries - 9:00 BBC4. He travels to the remote beach in north-west Holland that inspired Mondrian's transition toward abstract grid painting and examines the psychology and social history of the area.

Si King and Dave Myers explore Britain's love of apples and pears, using them in recipes for beef tagine and a frangipane tart in Hairy Bikers' Best of British - 7:00 BBC2. They also visit a heritage orchard to sample a few of the 2,000 apple varieties in the UK and investigate the history of wassailing - a custom intended to ensure a fruitful crop in cider-producing areas.

Friday 19 April
Diminutive actor Warwick Davis chairs the comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - which sees Paul Merton and Ian Hislop poke fun at the week's headlines with the help of their celebrity panellists.
Lucy becomes a relationship counsellor in Not Going Out - 9:30 BBC1 - so Lee and his father take advantage of her new-found skills in an effort to patch things up between them. Can they finally forgive and forget? Bobby Ball guest stars as Lee's dad, with Lee Mack, Sally Bretton and Katy Wix.

In The Ice Cream Girls - 9:00 ITV - two women who were accused of murdering their schoolteacher in the summer of 1995 are forced to confront their dark, shared history when one of them is released from prison almost two decades later, having always protested her innocence. Returning to her home town, Poppy decides to track down old friend Serena and get her to admit the truth about what really happened that fateful night. Drama based on the novel by Dorothy Koomson, starring Lorraine Burroughs, Jodhi May, Martin Compston and Dona Croll.

And, finally, if you missed it first time around, you could do a lot worse than check out Arena - 9:00 BBC4 - part one Martin Scorsese's two-part documentary Living In A Material World tracing George Harrison's early life in Liverpool, The Beatles' first gigs in Hamburg, the advent of Beatlemania, his psychedelic phase and his increasing fascination with Indian culture, both musical and spiritual. George was, of course, 'The Quiet Beatle.' Posthumously, and poignantly, here, he finds his voice. Scorsese has pieced together a cinematic love letter to Harrison. The surviving Beatles, his two wives Patti and Olivia and countless friends all form a respectful queue paying tribute in this two-part film. It's not, though, a symphony of sycophancy. Their memories – spliced together with archive interviews, evocative home-movie film and some captivating early Beatles footage – are preserved, you sense, by the deep affection they clearly felt for him. But it's the music that provides the stitching in this immaculately crafted tapestry. The moment you hear the opening bars of 'Something' or 'Here Comes the Sun', you realise you're in the company of genius. The Quiet Beatle is silent no longer. Not that he ever was. Featuring contributions from yer actual Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, producers George Martin and Phil Spector, and George's best mate, Eric Clapton.

To the news, then: The producer at the centre of Panorama bribery allegations has left the BBC as it emerged that Harlequin, the luxury Caribbean property developer which lodged the complaint with the corporation, is to take its grievance to the police. Last week the BBC suspended Matthew Chapman, a member of the Panorama production team working on a programme about Harlequin, after the company lodged a complaint that he had offered a security consultant a bribe for information. The BBC, which has never confirmed the name of the individual at the centre of the allegations, said on Friday that 'a member of staff' has 'left' the corporation. 'We have accepted the resignation of a member of staff who had recently been suspended following a complaint made to Panorama,' said a spokesman for the BBC. Harlequin, which issued a strongly worded statement last Thursday naming the Panorama producer as Matthew Chapman, said that it is contacting the police about the allegations. 'We have been advised by our lawyers that we should now take the next step and report Matthew Chapman to the police,' said a spokesman for the company. He added that Harlequin has not 'been updated' by the BBC on the status of its complaint. A BBC spokesman said that the corporation was 'still investigating' Harlequin's complaint about Panorama and 'remained hopeful' that it might be able to broadcast the programme, which was scheduled to be shown last month. 'We are still looking at the facts behind the complaint made by Harlequin and hope that the film will be broadcast in due course,' he said. Harlequin alleges that Chapman had attempted to 'induce [Harlequin consultant] Mr Ghent into disclosing information about Harlequin in return for the potential reward of future work from the BBC.' The company added that 'other staff' had allegedly received 'similar communications' from the BBC producer and said it was 'shocked' by this 'highly improper' behaviour. 'In short, it appears to be tantamount to an attempted bribe,' Harlequin said last week. The BBC's anti-bribery policy states: 'The BBC takes a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and is committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships wherever it operates. The BBC is committed to implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.' The Bribery Act 2010 outlaws financial offers to a person in the knowledge that acceptance would constitute 'improper performance' of their duties. There was sympathy among some staff about what has happened to Chapman, an award-winning producer. 'Matthew was a good investigative journalist who made a mistake,' said one alleged 'insider'. 'He was one of their most experienced producers/directors and recently won a BAFTA for Panorama's much-lauded care home investigation.' Last month the Serious Fraud Office and Essex police launched a joint investigation into complaints relating to Harlequin. Thousands of investors have put as much as two hundred million smackers into a scheme run by the Essex-based company, which builds luxury villas on islands including St Lucia, Barbados and Dominican Republic. The SFO has opened an online questionnaire asking investors for details about their introduction to the group and their experience. In January the Financial Services Authority issued an alert to financial advisers about investing large sums of clients money in Harlequin's overseas property.
The Sun's readers' editor, Philippa Kennedy, has said that she detects a 'sea change in attitude' among its journalists in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and Leveson inquiry. And we're supposed to, what, feel sorry for the odious scum? Good. I hope they're effing sweating. Kennedy, who was appointed as the Sun's ombudsman in September, is responsible for handling complaints from readers and liaising with the Press Complaints Commission. She told a journalism conference at the London School of Economics on Friday that she has experienced 'some resistance' to publishing clarifications and corrections in the Sun. 'I've been there seven months, and so far I've managed to find resolutions for seventy cases,' she said at the Polis event in London. 'Sometimes it's necessary; sometimes it's a kind of a half-apology, a clarification in the paper. And you get resistance in the paper, some people say "why are we running all these clarifications?" And I say "well the difference is that one paragraph is probably four or five weeks of negotiation … and the alternative is a six hundred-word adjudication against the newspaper." Sometimes I don't please either side, sometimes I please both sides.' Asked by media commentator Steve Hewlett whether she believed her appointment had an impact on newsgathering at the title, Kennedy said: 'I hope that they're taking it seriously and I sort of detect a sea change at the Sun. I think people have been badly affected by Leveson and by the revelations.' Kennedy was a reporter at the Sun in the 1970s and 1980s, before moving to the Daily Scum Express, where she became its first female news editor. She was editor of Press Gazette from 1998 until 2002 and awarded an OBE in 2003 for services to journalism. Her appointment was part of a pledge by the Sun to strengthen its 'bond of trust' with readers ahead of billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch's launch of the seven-day Sun in March 2012. Asked whether she believed the newspaper industry faced a crisis moment, Kennedy said: 'Totally. It's about a nervous breakdown. People are frightened, they're worried. I have nothing to do with the daily editorial process, but I have been approached a couple of times, especially [about] stories where children are involved – children and sex is a very difficult area – and I've had to say I think the PCC would take a dim view of it. For example, an under-sixteen who's got sexual problems is just a no-go area. There are a lot of areas now that are no-go areas.' Kennedy said she believed Sun journalists get 'very bad press' because they 'choose the most sensational angle' for a story. And, because they're scum, don't forget that. Kennedy was on a panel alongside Alexi Mostrous, The Times special correspondent, Martin Hickman, the Independent's consumer affairs correspondent, and Neil Wallis, former executive editor of the Scum of the World. Wallis was told last month that he would face no further action after being arrested under Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting inquiry into phone-hacking. He told the conference that the newspaper industry would be 'stupid' if it did not accept that it had overstepped the mark, but described David Cameron's plans for a tighter regulation as tantamount to 'the end of a free press.'

And now, some more good news about odious louse scum journalists; the Daily Torygraph has dropped Kelvin MacKenzie after his first online column for the newspaper and kicked his odious, risible fat arse out of the door and into the nearest gutter along with all the other turds. The controversial former Sun editor published his first column for the Torygraph on Thursday, taking aim at the teaching profession, reality TV producers, banks and British Gas. The Torygraph's publishers had, reportedly, positioned it as a regular gig for MacKenzie, a former Daily Scum Mail columnist, with its official Torygraph Twitter feed marking his arrival with the tweet 'introducing our new columnist.' Richard Fletcher, editor of Torygraph.co.uk, added to the belief that it was a weekly assignment telling Twitter followers to 'Meet our new columnist, Kelvin MacKenzie. Read his début column here.' However by the end of the day on Friday the mood had changed with Henry Winter, the much-respected football correspondent at the Torygraph, saying that MacKenzie's column was a 'one-off and won't be repeated.' The column had attracted more than eight hundred comments, many of them accusing the Torygraph of 'dumbing down.' A spokeswoman for the publisher would not elaborate on why MacKenzie had been ditched, instead reiterating the 'official' line that it was a 'one-off experiment.' Which it, clearly, wasn't. Speculation circulated on Twitter, fuelled by a piece published by the Liverpool Daily Post, that MacKenzie was dropped following a backlash linked to the Hillsborough football disaster. Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall told the Liverpool Daily Post that the timing of his hiring was an 'absolute disgrace': the anniversary of the disaster is on 15 April. MacKenzie was responsible for the notorious front page splash, which ran with the headline The Truth, making entirely false - and, now, wholly discredited - allegations about the behaviour of Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough stadium disaster. In September, he offered the people of Liverpool his 'profuse apologies' for the story in the wake of the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, which was only about twenty three years too late. MacKenzie was a columnist for the Sun from mid-2005, when he was signed as a replacement for Richard Littlejohn, to 2011 when he was signed as a columnist for the Daily Scum Mail.

John Humphrys, the presenter of Radio 4's Today programme, has said he has 'no intention' of stepping down after signing a nine-month extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the year. Humphrys, who has been a presenter on Radio 4's flagship news programme since 1987, has also signed a new three-year deal to continue fronting BBC2 quiz show Mastermind. Humphrys, who turns seventy in August, said: 'I'm not planning to pack it in just yet. I'm rather enjoying the job. I've no plans to shuffle off this mortal coil.' The short-term extension to his current two-year Today contract, which has just expired, is understood to be a result of the BBC's review of the way it pays its highest-paid stars following controversy over tax avoidance and the use of personal service companies. The BBC is moving many of its best-known presenters from freelance contracts to a staff basis, a long-running process that has prompted criticism over the amount of time it is taking. Humphrys, who had a personal service company many years ago, is currently employed by the corporation on a freelance basis. It was Humphrys's interview with George Entwistle on 10 November last year that effectively sealed the fate of the then director general after just fifty four days. Entwistle resigned on the steps of Broadcasting House hours after the interview. It was fitting that it was Humphrys who interviewed Tony Hall, the BBC's new director general, when he started this week. Hall used his appearance to announce a crackdown on the controversial big-money pay-offs handed out to departing senior BBC executives, including his predecessor Entwistle. Entwistle pledged to put another woman presenter on Today but it remains to be seen who it will be – or when it will happen. Today's presenting team currently comprises Humphrys along with James Naughtie, Evan Davis, Justin Webb and the programme's sole female presenting voice, Sarah Montague. The programme is seeking a new editor after Ceri Thomas, in charge since 2006, was appointed the new head of programmes at BBC News in the ongoing shake-up of the division's senior management in the wake of the Savile fiasco.

Countdown co-host Rachel Riley is to join the presenting team of Channel Five programme The Gadget Show. The twenty seven-year-old maths expert and Oxford university graduate will be on screens from the summer, when she joins presenters Pollyanna Woodward and Jason Bradbury. Speaking about her new job, Riley said: 'I'm very excited to be joining The Gadget Show family. I'm always keen to try out new gadgets, so it's going to be brilliant to be able to get my hands on the latest models and test them on behalf of the viewers.' Meanwhile, previous presenter Jon Bentley is set to return on the programme as 'chief gadget tester'. Most of the audience, however, won't be back since Suzi Perry's moved to the BBC. Riley will additionally continue to present Channel Four's Countdown alongside Nick Hewer. She joined the show in 2009 to present the letters and numbers, taking over the role from Carol Vorderman.
A soldier who fought at the battle of Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war but was left off the roll of honour is to be added to the historical record. Private David Jenkins's great-grandson Geoff Rees campaigned for the inclusion after recognising him in a sketch. Some one hundred and fifty British (mainly Welsh) soldiers defended the mission station Rorke's Drift against four thousand armed-to-the-teeth Zulus in 1879. You've probably seen the film. It's quite good, actually. Private Jenkins was left off a list of soldiers who fought when it was drawn up by an officer of a separate unit. He was from Defynnog near Brecon and served in the First Battalion, Twenty Fourth (Second Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot on the south bank of the Buffalo river in South Africa. Rees, from Swansea, saw a sketch by Lady Butler of a soldier of Rorke's Drift used in promotion by the National Army Museum in January this year and recognised his great-grandfather. 'I am very pleased,' he said. 'I took it for granted that he was on the roll of honour.' He added: 'I had found his name on a regimental ledger and my cousin had been handed down a Rorke's Drift bible, a gift from the ladies of Durban to the survivors of the battle.' He told the museum who the soldier in the sketch was and gave them the supporting evidence, including a reference from the Brecon regimental museum. A spokesperson for the National Army Museum said 'while you can never be one hundred per cent certain everything points to the fact that he was there.' The picture which led to Geoffrey Rees recognising his great-grandfather was a sketch by Lady Butler, who was commissioned by Queen Victoria to record the battle. She visited the survivors when they returned to the UK in October 1879 and made several sketches, which formed the basis of her work The Defence of Rorke's Drift, exhibited in 1880. The sketch is captioned only with the name 'Jenkins' and it was believed to be of a different soldier, James Edmund Jenkins, who died in the battle. Geoff Rees says that according to his great-grandfather's obituary in the Herald Of Wales he later met Lady Butler's husband, General William Butler, at an official event for the laying of Swansea docks foundation stone by King Edward VII. The newspaper reported that Lord Butler passed on his wife's regards and mentioned the sketch that she had done of him. Rees has researched his great-grandfather extensively. 'John Chard [the commander of the British troops at Rorke's Drift] wrote a report for Queen Victoria on the battle which mentions a Jenkins, who ducked Chard's head out of the way of a bullet,' he said. 'It may be that this refers to David Jenkins.' But his case may not be unique as the National Army museum believes fifteen other soldiers who fought at Rorke's Drift are not included on the roll of honour.

Chinese has been named Britain's most popular takeaway. it certainly is with yer actual Keith Telly Topping, if that's any indication. The East Asian cuisine topped a survey of two thousand people, aged twenty five to thirty four, carried out by VoucherCodes, drawing twenty five per cent of the vote. Indian (twenty three per cent) and fish and chips (twenty two per cent) came second and third respectively, while pizza garnered fourteen per cent of the vote. The poll also found that Londoners are spending the most money each month on takeaways, averaging £221.63 a year. In contrast, residents in Chelmsford splash out the least (£43.19).
Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. And it's this little gem from The Alabama Three.

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