Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He's Outrageous, He Screams And He Bawls

Doctor Who has been presented with a Peabody Award, one of the highest honours in American media. The George Foster Peabody Awards recognise 'distinguished achievement and meritorious service' by broadcasters, cable and webcasters, producing organisations and individuals. Selection is made by the Peabody Board, a sixteen-member panel of distinguished academics, television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. 'Seemingly immortal, fifty-years-old and still running, this engaging, imaginative sci-fi/fantasy series is awarded an Institutional Peabody for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe,' noted the citation. The award was accepted by The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat, Jenna-Louise Coleman her very self and yer actual Matt Smith - sporting his new skinhead moonstomp. 'come and have a go if y'think you're hard enough' haircut - at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday night.
Frankie dropped six hundred thousand overnight viewers for its second episode on BBC1 on Tuesday. Eve Myles's medical drama still topped the night outside of soaps and news with 4.03 million viewers at 9pm. Ben Elton's turgid and soon to be cancelled The Wright Way dipped seventy thousand punters to 1.60m at 10.45pm. One imagines the fact that anyone is still watching this turkey is, in and of itself, a miracle. But then, there are some strange people out there. On BBC2, The Chelsea Flower Show coverage continued with 2.93m at 8pm. Nicholas Crane's Town opened with 1.99m at 9pm. ITV's River Monsters attracted 1.98m at 7.30pm. Caroline Quentin's National Parks lost six hundred thousand viewers week-on-week, being watched by but 1.86m at 8pm. The massive floppage of this utterly pointless and thoroughly nasty example of twee celebrity-fronted drivel does, somewhat, restore ones faith in at least some of the viewing public. Not all of them, though, because there are still nearly two million of them who are, seemingly, quite happy to watch this bollocks. To complete a thoroughly bad night for ITV, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? could only draw 2.29m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Embarrassing Bodies Live grabbed 1.30m at 8pm whilst Mary Queen of the High Street climbed slightly week-on-week to 1.13m at 9pm. Shameless's penultimate episode had an audience of one million punters at 10pm. Channel Five's CSI entertained 1.90m at 9.15pm. The highest-rated digital programme was Dave's Storage Hunters, which attracted seven hundred and sixty thousand viewers at 8.30pm.

BBC2 and Channel Four have been the biggest ratings losers so far this year after changes to the corporation's daytime schedules. Just a week after Channel Four defended massive bonuses paid out to senior executives despite not meeting audience targets in 2012, figures show that ratings for the broadcaster's main terrestrial network have fallen this year too, even among younger viewers. In the first four months of 2013, Channel Four's share of total UK viewing dropped to six per cent, compared with 6.8 per cent during the same time period last year. Among sixteen to thirty four year-olds it fell from 8.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent. These figures include the ratings for Channel 4+1. If the +1 channel's ratings are stripped out then the picture is even bleaker, with the main channel averaging, across the day, an audience share of just over five per cent – compared with 5.8 per cent last year. BBC2's all-hours audience share for the year to date is down to 5.3 per cent, from 6.5 per cent for the same period in 2012. Channel Four's decline is being put down to the fact that hit shows such as Homeland and Big Fat Gypsy Wedding specials aired during the first half of 2012, plus the impact of changes to the BBC1 and BBC2 daytime schedules. BBC1 revamped its afternoon schedule in January, ditching afternoon children's programmes and replacing them with daytime shows previously broadcast on BBC2. At the same time BBC2 switched to an afternoon diet of repeats and rolling news. In the year to 9 May, Channel Four's audience share between 3.10pm and 5pm dropped from 11.9 per cent, year-on-year, to 7.6 per cent, while BBC1's grew from 4.2 per cent to 13.2 per cent and BBC2's fell by around half. BBC1's all-hours audience share is up from 20.4 per cent to 21.4 per cent and ITV is also up very marginally year-on-year so far in 2013, from 16.37 per cent to 16.41 per cent (again, this includes ITV1+1 audiences). Channel Five has dipped slightly, from 4.69 per cent to 4.36 per cent (including C5+1). In peak time, Channel Four is facing a similar ratings scenario, averaging 6.2 per cent (including C4+1), down from seven per cent during the first five months last year. The Channel Four network, excluding C4+1, is averaging 5.4 per cent, down from six per cent in 2012. The Channel Four portfolio of channels – including E4 and More4 – is broadly flat year-on-year, just one per cent down at 11.2 per cent of the total audience share. But the broadcaster said that there is 'encouraging news' with the launch of 4Seven – a new digital channel providing further opportunities to catch up on Channel Four's most popular and talked-about shows. Despite winning a BAFTA for its coverage of the Paralympics and being lauded for programmes such as The Last Leg, the ratings trajectory for Channel Four so far is, according to a typically shite-stirring piece in the Gruniad Morning Star, 'said to be causing some concern within the broadcaster', particularly after the focus on bonuses in coverage of its recent annual report. However, the return of Homeland and more Gypsy Wedding specials later this year is likely to improve ratings. A spokesman for Channel Four said that in terms of sixteen to thirty four-year-olds, including 4Seven and the C4+1 channel, the main network is down just one per cent year-on-year. He commented: 'Channel Four has continued to launch more new programming in its schedule than any other broadcaster. The range of distinctive content we have broadcast – from Utopia and Complicit, through to the award winning Channel Four News and the likes of Skint, Gogglebox and The King in the Car Park – has both delivered to Four's remit and helped maintain our channel portfolio share of audience.' It is not yet known what audience share targets Channel Four's executives have been set for 2013. It was not revealed at the annual report – during which chairman Lord Burns was quizzed about executive bonuses being awarded when the broadcaster reported an audience share of 6.6 per cent, which was short of the target set last year.

The BBC has 'raised the stakes' in its 'row' with BSkyB over retransmission fees and will consider charging the satellite broadcaster for channels such as BBC1 if the fees are not dropped. This is, again, according to a piece of pure trouble-making carried in the Gruniad Morning Star. Sky currently charges the BBC, along with other public service broadcasters ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five, to carry its TV and radio channels on its pay-TV services. The BBC pays five million smackers a year, with the four public service broadcasters footing a combined ten million quid bill. The issue has been made a priority by the corporation's recently appointed director of strategy and digital, James Purnell, and BBC director general Tony Hall. It follows a call by the lack of culture minister, the vile and odious rascal Vaizey, for Sky to scrap the charges altogether earlier this year. The BBC's director of policy and strategy, John Tate said: 'Sky should do the decent thing and stop charging licence fee payers to carry BBC services that, in reality, underpin their ability to generate enormous profits. This free ride needs to stop.' Halved from ten million notes two years ago, the BBC is now calling for the retransmission fees to be dropped altogether. However, recent negotiations between executives from Sky and the BBC are believed to have come to nothing. Alleged corporation 'insiders' have now alleged said that if agreement cannot be reached, then it will 'look to start charging Sky' for carrying BBC channels. Allegedly. Content on public service channels makes up the majority of viewing in pay-TV homes. An alleged 'senior BBC source' allegedly said: 'These costs are a hangover from the early days of satellite television and for a long time now they have felt like money flowing in the wrong direction. At a time when public service broadcasting is under increasing financial pressure, we have to do everything we can to protect the licence fee or to police how the licence fee is being spent.' The BBC is entering the final stages of implementing the seven hundred million smackers cost-cutting plan, Delivering Quality First, begun by Hall's predecessor, Mark Thompson, following the 2010 licence fee settlement. It has previously said the cuts need not have been so large if it did not have to pay fees to Sky. The vile and odious rascal Vaizey used a speech in January to call on Sky to scrap the ten million quid it charges public service broadcasters, saying Sky should make it a 'level playing field' because they do not pay to be carried by its pay-TV rival, Virgin Media. He added that the government would 'look at options for intervention' if the broadcasters could not reach a deal by next year. The amount Sky charges public service broadcasters has come down – in the past it has been as much as twenty five million snots a year. Channel Four agreed with the BBC that Sky 'does not recognise the value' that the public service channels bring to the Sky platform. A Channel Four spokesman said: 'We do not believe that the current regulatory system appropriately recognises the benefits that public service channels bring to platform operators. Were the system amended to appropriately account for these benefits, there is strong evidence to suggest that PSBs could receive positive carriage fees.' The issue of retransmission fees was raised by the BBC's then director general, Thompson, in his MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2010. Thompson pointed out how in the US, News Corporation – Sky's biggest shareholder – successfully got US satellite and cable operators to pay fees to carry its channels such as FOX and FOX News. ITV has also called on the retransmission fees to be abolished. A spokesman for ITV said: 'We welcomed the minister's statement earlier this year in relation to retransmission fees. We do not believe that this regulation is in keeping with the competitive market place we are in today.' BSkyB group commercial director Rob Webster, writing in Gruniad Morning Star in 2011, rejected the BBC's claims, saying 'distribution is a necessary cost of doing business.'

Daniel Mays is to lead the cast of new BBC1 drama Common. The one-off crime thriller - from bitter old whinging Red Jimmy McGovern - centres on 'joint enterprise' law and tells the tale of four men who flee a fatal stabbing. Sounds like bitter old whinging Red McGovern's usual barrel of laughs, then. Mays probably best known for his outstanding performance in Ashes To Ashes has most recently starred in ITV's BAFTA-winning drama Mrs Biggs and appears in the movie Welcome to the Punch opposite James McAvoy. Jodhi May, Robert Pugh, Nico Mirallegro and Susan Lynch form the rest of the Common cast. 'When it comes to casting you always have a "wish list" - a list of actors who'd be perfect for the parts you have written,' said bitter old whinging Red McGovern. 'You never get them of course. They're often too busy or away on holiday or they hate the script or whatever. But on this occasion, I got them all, every single one on my wish list. And I am over the moon.' Well, one supposes there has to be a first time for everything. Director David Blair - who previously worked with McGovern on the slash-your-own-wrists misery-fest Accused - will helm the drama.

The Beard of Despair Noel Edmonds might be used to be being in the spotlight, but he look set to be outshone by a new rising star: his store mannequin. The Deal or No Deal presenter drives around London with a mannequin in the back seat of his black cab to stop people flagging him down. The Daily Lies reports that Candice, who is dressed by Noel's wife Liz, has now become something of a celebrity in her own right. The shop dummy has eighteen thousand Twitter followers (which probably says far more about the utter pointlessness of Twitter than anything else) and has received offers from fashion houses, record labels and retail outlets. Edmonds reckons there might also be potential for perfume and jewellery.
And speaking of odious and worthless waste-of-space creatures getting money for nothing, the Curiously Orange Christine Bleakley is reportedly 'expected to make a return' as co-host in the final series of Twatting About On Ice. ITV announced this week that the 2014 series of the z-list celebrity ice skating competition will be the last. Which caused untold joy throughout the land with the bunting and the street parties and what-not. Alleged 'insiders' have now allegedly claimed that the Curiously Orange Bleakley is 'wanted' to return with co-host Phillip Schofield, despite her four million with smackers contract the channel coming to an end next month. She will be offered 'a reduced deal' worth a mere one hundred and fifty thousand knicker, the Sun reports. And, they're always so trustworthy, aren't they? 'Christine is a talented presenter,' an alleged ITV 'source' lied. She might well be lots of things, matey boy, but 'a talented presenter' certainly isn't one of them.

BBC2 has announced details of its new show Airport Live. Presented by Dan Snow, Anita Rani and Dallas Campbell, the factual programme will come live from Heathrow for one hour over four consecutive nights. Airport Live promises to f'ollow aircraft from the moment that they enter Heathrow's airspace to when they depart.' Snow will be reporting live from the air traffic control tower, while Rani and Campbell will both be studying the science, engineering and logistics of air travel. The airport, which covers five square miles and processes two hundred thousand passengers every day, is one of the busiest in the world. Speaking about the series, Snow said: 'Air travel has become an everyday luxury that we take for granted, but behind the scenes it's a fascinating web of processes all precisely managed to maintain equilibrium. Over four nights we'll get the chance to see how it all works. We'll take a look at the complex choreography of air traffic control, learn to fly the world's largest passenger jet, the A380, and discover how weather plays a crucial role in keeping the whole operation running smoothly. Airport Live will be a thrilling journey through the skies and a definitive account of modern air travel.' Controller for BBC2 Janice Hadlow added: 'In recent years, BBC2 has enjoyed great success with live events, from Stargazing Live to Volcano Live. Now, in one of our most ambitious broadcasts ever, we're going behind the scenes at one of the world's busiest airports. Over four nights, BBC2 will be based at the air traffic control tower, offering a completely unique perspective on how an airport works around the clock.' Rumours that BBC2's next Live series will be Watching Paint Dry, Live cannot, at this time, be confirmed or denied.

Three further episodes for the next - K - series of Qi were filmed earlier this week. Knights and Knaves will feature the Reverend Richard Coles, yer actual Victoria Coren and Sue Perkins; Killers has as guests Jason Manford, Sandi Toksvig and first-timer the South African comedian and radio presenter Trevor Noah whilst Kinky (steady!) also feature Toksvig along with Johnny Vegas and another débutante, Janet Street Porter. The final three episodes (of sixteen) will be filmed next week.

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has reportedly pulled out of his first TV project, because he 'needs some rest', after spending over four years working on Life of Pi. He had signed up to direct the pilot episode of Tyrant in March, just weeks after Life of Pi won four Oscars. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Lee said that he realised he could not give ' give one hundred per cent to the project.' He said he was disappointed to pull out, but felt he had to. 'I cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for this exciting new series' he said in a statement. The highly anticipated drama on FX revolves around an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. The team behind the show includes Homeland's Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, who will act as executive producers. Lee said it was still 'one of the most brilliant ideas for a series' that he had seen and wished the team well with the 'remarkable project.' In February Lee won his second best director Oscar for Life of Pi, based on the Booker-winning novel about a shipwrecked boy and a Bengal tiger. At the time he had admitted that he had been 'obsessing about every detail of Life of Pi,' for four years and it had 'completely consumed' him. For many years, the complicated novel was thought to be 'unfilmable' and Lee admitted he thought so too at first. 'I read the book when it first came out, and it was obvious it couldn't be a movie,' he said. Lee's decision to follow up his Oscar win with a TV project was seen as a sign of the growing strength of cable TV. The Taiwanese director is currently serving as a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

The disciplinary action taken by Paolo Di Canio against several Blunderland players is being investigated by the Professional Footballers' Association. Players' union chief Gordon Taylor said that the Black Cats manager could not be 'a law unto himself.' Which Di Canio might feel somewhat aggrieved about since the man whom he describes in his autobiography as his 'hero', Benito Mussolini, actually was a law onto himself. Wekll, until he got hung from a lamp post and shot, at any rate. But, that's another story for another day, perhaps. Di Canio said last week he had fined seven players and had threatened to sell those who had misbehaved. Taylor said the PFA would determine if the punishments were 'acceptable' or if there were grounds for an appeal. 'I wouldn't want to go any further at this moment, so as not to prejudice any particular situation,' he said. Taylor admitted there had been 'contact' between the PFA and Blunderland players already, while 'discussions' had also been held with the Premier League club. 'There has been some complaints, yes,' said Taylor. Di Canio took over from Martin O'Neill as manager of the Wearside club in March and won two of his seven games in charge to help the club avoid relegation. The forty four-year-old Italian was scathing about the behaviour of some of his players following the 1-0 defeat at Stottingtot Hotshots on the final day of the season. Defenders Phil Bardsley and Matthew Kilgallon were left out of the squad for the game at White Tart Lane, having been pictured in a casino during midweek. 'Nobody says we're against discipline at the PFA, but it's got to be proportionate,' said Taylor. 'We have a recommended code for clubs to adhere to. Players know when they've done wrong and when they've been a problem. For the most part, they will accept that. But it's not always good to have the manager coming out in public. These things are better dealt with person to person internally and it's better for the future.' Fifteen years ago, Di Canio was represented by Taylor after pushing over referee Paul Alcock in 1998 when he was a Sheffield Wednesday player. 'I can remember representing him many years ago when he had his problem with the referee at Sheffield Wednesday,' said Taylor. 'I don't want to add fuel to the flames, merely to say Paolo was a player and member of the PFA. The PFA were there for Paolo when he was a player and we'll be there for him with his players. He is aware of the role of the PFA and knows we are there for the players. Paolo can't be a law unto himself. There are rule and regulations to abide by - and that goes for the disciplining of players as well.'

More than fifty English beaches have met tough new EU standards to receive Blue Flag awards, recognising their high standards and water quality. Thanet in Kent won eight awards, while the Isle of Wight, Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset, and Torbay in Devon each received four awards. Campaign group Keep Britain Tidy runs the awards scheme in England. The fifty five-beach total is down from seventy nine in 2012, but this year beaches were subject to much tougher standards. They had to meet the new 'excellent' standard required under the new EU Bathing Waters Directive. Beaches also had to advise users where they could obtain real-time information on discharges from nearby combined sewage overflows if it could temporarily affect the quality of bathing water. Other well-known beaches awarded Blue Flags this year included Central Beach in Skegness, Lowestoft South Claremont in Suffolk, Martello Bay at Clacton-on-Sea, Whitby in North Yorkshire and a trio of Northumberland beaches very well known to yer actual Keith Telly Topping, Tynemouth Longsands, the adjacent King Edward's Bay and Whitley Bay. Westward Ho! beach in North Devon was awarded a Blue Flag for the tenth year in a row. A further one hundred and thirty three beaches in England were rated clean enough to be awarded Seaside Awards - formerly known as Quality Coast Awards - by Keep Britain Tidy.

Unreleased songs from the first recording session by The Clash are to finally see the light of day. The songs - along with other early studio sessions and unseen footage from gigs at the start of their career - will be released this summer. They will be part of a box-set, Sound System, which draws together most of The Clash's LPs and many rarities. The group made their first recordings at Beaconsfield Studios in Buckinghamshire in 1976 with Julien Temple, the future film director who had befriended the band and went on to make The Sex Pistols movie The Great Rock And Roll Swindle. Although a version of 'White Riot' from the session went on to appear on The Clash's debut LP, the early versions of 'London's Burning' and '1977' have never been released. All five songs from their second demo sessions - made for Polydor, at the company's studio in Stratford Place in late 1976 produced by Guy Stevens - are also included in the box set, three of which have also never before been released. (The Stratford Place versions of 'Janie Jones' and 'Career Opportunities' had appeared on the 1991 box-set The Clash on Broadway.) Previously unseen footage from a 1977 show at Sussex University and archive material provided by Temple and Don Letts, is also included in the package which will be released on 9 September. Alongside the discs, there will be a book, reprints of the band's Armagideon Times fanzines, plus badges and stickers and replicas of promo items for the group's singles. The artwork has been designed by bass player Paul Simonon. Explaining the idea behind the box-set, Simonon said: 'It was really just to make a nice box - like a work of art.' 'And then, put something in it,' added guitarist Mick Jones. The band disintegrated after the departures of Jones and Topper Heddon in the early 1980s although Joe Strummer and Simonon soldiered on for one further - exceptionally poor - LP, Cut The Crap, which is (thankfully) not included in the box-set. Strummer died in December 2002. Sound System collects The Clash's first five - essential - LPs: 1977's The Clash, 1978's Give 'Em Enough Rope, 1979's seminal London Calling, 1980's massively under-rated Sandinista! and 1982's Combat Rock. The elaborate package also includes three discs of singles, rarities, demos and B-sides and a DVD containing all of the band's videos and 'unseen footage by Julien Temple and Don Letts.'
Just a day after the sad news of the deaths of Eddie Braben and Ray Manzerak, another part of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's teenage years has left us. Trevor Bolder, the bassist in David Bowie's legendary 1970s band The Spiders From Mars, has died from cancer at the age of sixty two. Hard rock group Uriah Heep, whom Bolder joined in 1976, announced the death of 'a world-class bass player and world-class friend' on their website. Trevor had stopped playing with Heep just a few months ago because of poor health. Trev appeared on the classic David Bowie LPs Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin-Ups as well as touring the world with Bowie between 1971 and 1973. Bowie said in a statement: 'Trevor was a wonderful musician and a major inspiration for whichever band he was working with. But he was foremostly a tremendous guy, a great man.' Trevor was born in Hull in 1950. He was active in his local R&B scene in the mid-1960s as a teenager and first came to prominence in the local band, The Rats, which also featured, at one time or another, his future Spiders colleagues Mick Ronson on guitar and Woody Woodmansey on drums. His big break arrived in 1971, when he replaced Tony Visconti in Bowie's backing band with his two former Rats colleagues. The group had its origins in Bowie's earlier backing outfit Hype, which featured Ronson and Woodmansey and producer Visconti on bass. They were also known as Ronno and released the - now much sought-after - single 'Fourth Hour Of My Sleep' in 1971. With Bolder taking over bass, they were subsequently renamed via the landmark 1972 Bowie LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars and were billed as such on the accompanying large-scale Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane tours. Following Bowie's decision to break up the band in 1973, Bolder and Woodmansey led a reformed Spiders (without Ronson) and were joined in this line-up by pianist Mike Garson, Dave Black and Pete McDonald. Their self-titled LP, released in 1976, was their only work before the group disbanded. 'Trevor was an all-time great, one of the outstanding musicians of his generation and one of the finest and most influential bass players that Britain ever produced,' Uriah Heep said in a statement. Bolder joined Uriah Heep in 1976, replacing John Wetton. Although he contributed to the LPs Firefly, Innocent Victim, Fallen Angel and Conquest, when the line-up which had recorded the latter disbanded Bolder alone was left with Mick Box, the guitarist, founder-member and legal owner of the band's name. Their attempts to put a new line-up together temporarily stalled and Bolder, needing to earn a living, accepted an offer in 1981 to join another long-running hard rock band, Wishbone Ash. Bolder had, coincidentally, again swapped places with John Wetton, becoming Ash's bass player for their 1982 LP Twin Barrels Burning. It was another short-lived connection and, by 1983 he returned to the rhythm section with Uriah Heep, playing on the Head First tour and all of band's LPs since. As well as his usual bass playing and backing vocal duties, Trevor also produced Heep's 1991 LP Different World. He sang lead on 'Fear Of Falling', one of the songs he had written for Sea Of Light in 1995. He also contributed lead vocals to 'Lost', a song on Uriah Heep's 2011 CD Into the Wild. Earlier this year he announced what was hoped to be a temporary absence as a result of surgery. He later told Classic Rock magazine: 'I had pancreas cancer so I had to have that removed. Not the entire pancreas; but still, it was bad news. They've cut out the bad bit. I've had a bit of chemo, which I'm doing now, in case there's anything hanging about. Once that's done, I should be back to doing what I do for a living.'

That means, of course, that this is today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. Thanks, Trev.
Brilliant.

Now, the death of dear old Ray Manzerak, reminded this blogger that, not only was Ray a wonderful musician, a terrific interview subject and, seemingly, a decent, humane man of wit but, he was also a bit part player in yer actual Keith Telly Topping's favourite tasteless joke. Which goes like this. Seems that, during the late 1960s, dear blog reader, there was a groovy 'happening' party taking place in some Belgravia flat at which yer actual Marianne Faithfull was busy giving Jim Morrison quite a bit of, ahem, pleasure. As it were. Following this she moved across the room and did pretty much the same with Ray Manzerak, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore. However, when alcoholic wife-beating Scouse junkie John Lennon appeared and asked for a go, at that point Michael Caine burst into the room and bellowed 'Oi, yer only supposed to blow the bloody Doors off.'

Yeah, all right, I'll get me coat.

Before Trevor Bolder's untimely death, yer actual Keith Telly Topping had already decided on what he thought was going to be today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day. But, there's no reason not to include it anyway. You've probably never heard 'Prisencolinensinainciusol' before, dear blog reader. But you should have. I must admit it was something yer actual Keith Telly Topping was only vaguely aware of having heard once or twice before. This song was released in 1972 and was a massive hit all across Europe although it never did much in the UK. It was written and sung in a gibberish nonsensical language which was intended to sound like English spoken with an American accent for its Italian audience. This is, apparently, exactly what American-English sounds like to non-English speaking foreigners! It was written by the Italian singer, songwriter, actor and comedian Adriano Celentano. Heavily influenced by his idol,  Elvis Presley and the 1950s rock revolution, Adriano has retained his popularity in Italy for the last forty years, selling millions of records and appearing in numerous TV shows and movies. In the 1970s and 80s, he was pretty much the king of the Italian box office in a series of popular low budget films. 'Prisencolinensinainciusol' was performed by Celentano and his wife, the singer and actress Claudia Mori. The song was, in fact, purposely written in nonsense to parody numerous Italian musicians of the day, who would pretend to be able to speak and understand the English lyrics they sang, which were often simply plagiarised straight from American and English pop songs. Celentano's intention with the song was to explore communications barriers. 'Ever since I started singing, I was very influenced by American music and everything Americans did. So at a certain point, because I like American slang - which, for a singer, is much easier to sing than Italian - I thought that I would write a song which would only have as its theme the inability to communicate. And to do this, I had to write a song where the lyrics didn't mean anything,' he noted. It also, in a more general sense, poked fun at the Italian public who would popularise any song by an Italian artist that sounded like they were singing in English, whether accurately or not, as long as it sounded like rock’n'roll. Needless to say, 'Prisencolinensinainciusol' went to number one. And, not for nothing, it sounded then, and still sounds, terrific. A near note-perfect parody of contemporary Southern boogie.

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