Friday, May 17, 2013

I Won't Say It If You Won't Say It

Yer actual Matt Smith appears to have confirmed that he will return for Doctor Who's eighth series. Or, at least part of it, anyway. yer actual Smudger his very self revealed to the Sun that he will begin filming Doctor Who again once he finishes work on Ryan Gosling's movie How to Catch a Monster in the US. 'I'm on a break for a couple of months while I'm in Detroit making How to Catch a Monster', he revealed to the tabloid. Smudger went on to say: 'We come back and shoot the Christmas special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or at the start of 2014.'
Luther will return to BBC1 this summer. Idris Elba will reprise his role as John Luther in the crime drama's third series. Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Michael Smiley will all return for the new episodes. Ruth Wilson will also reprise her role of Luther's uneasy accomplice Alice Morgan, while Resident Evil's Sienna Guillory will join the cast as a new love interest for the detective. Series creator Neil Cross has expressed his desire to produce both a Luther movie and a spin-off show featuring the character of Alice once the third series has aired.
Paul O'Grady's For the Love of Dogs climbed to over five million overnight viewers on ITV on Thursday evening. The latest episode of the Battersea Cat and Dog Home documentary series took in 4.98m at 8.30pm. Murder on the Homefront dropped over five hundred thousand viewers for its second episode, attracting 3.79m at 9pm. Earlier, a Tonight special about Tia Sharp's murder was seen by 2.63m at 7.30pm. On a desperately poor night right across British telly on BBC1, Britain's Biggest Hoarders held steady with 3.30m at 9pm, while Question Time brought in 2.41m at 10.45pm. Thursday night really does seem to be the hole where the rain got in in terms of the weekly schedules, dear blog reader. Why do you think yer actual Keith Telly Topping chooses that particular night to go out each week? BBC2's Dambusters: Seventy Years On documentary attracted 2.02m at 7pm, followed by Bradford: City of Dreams with 1.36m at 8pm. The Tube: An Underground History was seen by 2.18m at 9pm, whilst the latest episode of Watson & Oliver failed to amuse seven hundred and twenty nine thousand viewers at 10pm. On Channel Four, Secret Eaters grabbed 1.13m at 8pm. New series Murder Workers had an audience of eight hundred and eighty four thousand viewers at 9pm. Channel Five's documentary Aliens: Are We Alone?  attracted 1.21m at 8pm. BBC3's coverage of the second Eurovision Song Contest semi-final entertained was watched by four hundred and ninety one thousand viewers at 8pm. A repeat of Russell Howard's Good News got seven hundred and fifty nine thousand punters at 10pm.

The Apprentice regained over four hundred thousand punters for its third episode on BBC1 on Wednesday night, according to overnight figures. Lord Alan Sugar-Sweetie's latest challenge bounced back from last week's dip in the overnight ratings, topping the night outside of soaps with 5.67 million viewers at 9pm. Earlier, Watchdog was seen by 4.21m at 8pm. On BBC2, Auction Hero had an audience of nine hundred and eighty six thousand at 8pm, followed by Bankers with six hundred thousand an hour later. The Apprentice: You're Fired secured 1.91m at 10pm. ITV's - as usual, piss-poor - coverage of Moscow Chelski FC's Europa League triumph against Benfica scored an average of 5.32m from 7.15pm. Channel Four's Location, Location, Location returned for a new series with 1.47m at 8pm. Twenty Four Hours in A&E was seen by 2.19m at 9pm, while Ten O'Clock Live continued to limp along with seven hundred and two thousand viewers at 10pm. On Channel Five, Emergency Bikers attracted 1.01m at 8pm, with NCIS's latest episode pulled-in 1.43m at 9pm. ITV3's of an old episode of Midsomer Murders brought in nine hundred and forty thousand at 7.55pm.

Some decidedly strange goings-on in the series finale of CSI this week, with yer actual Black Sabbath making an appearance at the beginning playing a song off their new CD (and then, Ozzy getting one of the funniest lines of the entire episode. When told by a reporter that he had been one of the reporters first ever interviews at a gig in 1986 Ozzy relies 'I don't remember that.' The interview or the gig, he is asked. '1986!' he replies with impeccable comic timing). Skin In The Game also featured a very sinister cameo by former Vice President Tim Matheson and a hilarious one by ex-The Master Eric Roberts as a bible-punching con-man. Plus an appearance another SF icon Babylon 5's James Callis playing a dodgy reporter and a stunning cliffhanger with Morgan (the excellent Elisabeth Harnois), undercover on the trail of the serial killer of prostitutes who murders them in the manner of Dante's Inferno, being kidnapped. Will she survive? You'll have to wait to September to find out.
Yer actual Alan Hansen has, reportedly, decided to quit Match of the Day. Unbelievable. The pundit is said to have told producers that he will leave long-running the BBC highlight show after the 2014 World Cup, the Sun reports. Last year, it was revealed that Hansen was paid one and a half million smackers per pear for his role on Match of the Day, which was later reduced to a million notes on appeal. BT Sport have allegedly attempted to poach him for their new line-up of sports-related shows, but Hansen reportedly wants to quit TV altogether for the time being. An alleged 'source' allegedly said: 'Alan is sad to go but he's had a fair run at it. It was more or less a mutual decision between him and the BBC. He's not currently considering any other offers and is looking forward to some time off. He is nearly sixty now and he's got more than enough money to retire.' Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was recently said to have been sought after by NBC in the US, and has also been offered a new seven-figure deal with the BBC. Phil Neville has reportedly been approached by the BBC for a punditry role on the channel.

The Beano has reprinted a special edition of the comic that was recently used in Doctor Who. Matt Smith was seen reading the 1981 summer special of the long-running comic in a recent episode of the BBC's family SF drama, The Rings of Akhaten. After 'many' (ie. a few) requests from readers and fans for the same thirty two-page edition used by The Doctor, DC Thomson has included it in The Beano's latest 'Doctor Who special' issue. 'Everyone at The Beano was delighted to see one of our summer specials appear on Doctor Who,' said editor-in-chief Mike Stirling. 'We're big fans of the show, and so are our readers - who haven't stopped talking about it. We decided to travel back in time and get a copy of the 1981 summer special - which we've reprinted inside the latest issue - in time for the last episode of the season. We're all really excited about this issue and thrilled that Doctor Who is one of our fans.' Errr ... Doctor Who's the name of the programme, Mike, The Doctor's the name of the character. Might be an idea to get that straight in your head if you're going to go around claiming to be such a massive fan. Matt Smith also appears on the front cover of the latest issue, looking on as Dennis the Menace catapults a Dalek over a fence. Well, it's been coming for a long time, to be fair.

Ofcom - who are, let us never forget, a government-appointed quango, elected by no one - is to 'crack down' like a mo'fuggin' bee-atch on the 'often poor standard' of subtitling of TV programmes, which have led to gaffes such as asking for 'a moment's violence' during the Queen Mother's funeral. It will do so by introducing a six-monthly 'quality check' which will 'name and shame' broadcasters into improving their services. You can just tell they get off on the power, can't you. Does it give you The Horn, Ofcom?
Viewers are able to switch on a subtitles option for most TV programmes across seventy channels, with about 7.6 million UK adults saying they have used this service. Of these about 1.4 million people have hearing impairments and rely on the service. Ofcom said on Friday that it 'continues' to receive 'numerous' complaints (ie. a few) that there are problems with the speed, synchronisation, accuracy and presentation of live TV subtitling, as it put proposals out to consultation aimed at getting broadcasters to 'raise their game.' The broadcasting regulator - remember, elected by no one - offered examples to highlight the issue – in ITV's Loose Women a conversation is shown with the subtitles saying 'see engle Bert humper distinct', and in a second shot a BBC Weather presenter was subtitled as saying 'they would be a few more mist and fox patches.' Well, them foxes, if you believe the Daily Scum Mail they're already in danger of talking over our towns and stealing our babies.
One BBC gaffe in 2011, when a reporter whose comment 'pigs nibble anything, even wellies' took on a radically different meaning when the last word was subtitled 'willies', became a Twitter sensation and fuelled a Mock the Week subtitles gaffe segment. Infamously, during the Queen Mother's funeral in 2002, the solemn words 'We'll now have a moment's silence for the Queen Mother' became 'We'll now have a moment's violence for the Queen Mother.' Under current rules a broadcaster only has to provide Ofcom with information on the amount of subtitling it provides, not the quality. Under the new proposals published on Friday, Ofcom intends to publish a report every six months that will measure speed, accuracy, the delay between speech being broadcast and subtitled text appearing on screen, and the number of programmes that are delivered too late to prepare accurate subtitling in advance and must rely on live work that is inevitably lower quality. And give those that don't come up to scratch a jolly good smacked bottom. Or something. Ofcom said that having a 'regular report' which ranks broadcasters on subtitling performance will 'highlight problem areas and incentivise [them] to make improvements. Ofcom wants to see an improvement in the quality of subtitling on live programmes for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing,' said Claudio Pollack, consumer group director at Ofcom. Never trust anyone that uses the word 'incentivise' in any context dear blog reader. They're almost certain to be complete and total bastards. 'Our proposals will help identify the areas where broadcasters can make progress, leading to a better viewing experience over time.' Under Ofcom's broadcasting code a broadcaster must provide subtitling if it attracts a viewing share of more than 0.05 per cent of total viewing. Ofcom says that seventy channels provide subtitling across eighty per cent or more of their programming.

A Coronation Street fan started growing cannabis after being inspired by a plot on the ITV soap. At least, that was his defence in the ensuing court case. Nice try. Rita Sullivan and Roy Cropper were appalled to discover that Sylvia Goodwin had been making hash cakes as a way to ease the pain she is suffering from arthritis in her wrist. John Griffiths, who also suffers from arthritis, claims that he 'copied' Sylvia by eating hash cakes in a bid to help the pain, the Mirra reports. However, Griffiths went a step further by growing his own Mary Jane. Police raided his home and found nine twelve-inch plants growing under a lamp, a court heard this week. Defence lawyer Richard Morgan said: 'He just wanted to alleviate pain. He hopes to see doctors to find another way to put it behind him.' Griffiths has admitted growing cannabis and was fined seventy five smackers. A Coronation Street spokeswoman defended the drug use of the character played by Stephanie Cole. She said: 'We made it clear via various characters that taking drugs is illegal.'

Billy Connolly and David Tennant are to star in the new big-screen comedy from the writers of Outnumbered and Drop The Dead Donkey. Rosamund Pike, Ben Miller and Amelia Bullmore are also in the cast of What We Did On Our Holiday, which is due to start filming in Glasgow and the Highlands in June. The comedy will revolve around a family’s road trip to visit their grandfather on his seventy fifth birthday – as the parents are in the midst of a difficult divorce. Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin wrote the script, and will also direct the movie. Earlier this year, Jenkin told film industry website Screen International: 'We're taking the techniques from Outnumbered to make a distinctive, but broadly appealing, British comedy that reflects much of contemporary family life, and it should be unlike anything that's been seen before.' Independent Film Company is now in Cannes selling the film to cinemas. The company's Andrew Orr told Screen International: 'This is the funniest script that has come out of the UK in years. It is both edgy and commercial and will appeal to anyone who has ever felt like laughing and crying during a tense family gathering.'

The Simpsons is the latest TV series to spoof ITV period drama hit Downton Abbey, creating a mash-up of the shows titled Simpton Abbey. It will feature in this weekend's season finale in the US, which guest stars Family Guy creator and 2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane.

Paul Shane, the actor famous for starring in the 1980s BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, has died, it has been confirmed. His agent said that the seventy two-year-old died 'surrounded by close family' at a hospice in Rotherham on Thursday 'after a short illness.' He leaves behind his three daughters and six grandchildren. His wife died in 2001. Shane made his name playing entertainer Ted Bovis in Hi-de-Hi!, a long-running series set in a holiday camp created by David Croft and Jimmy Perry. He later appeared in another Croft and Perry series You Rang, M'Lord, alongside many of the former Hi-de-Hi! cast. Fans have been paying tribute on Twitter. Among them was Ricky Gervais who called Shane 'an old school Britcom hero.' Shane, born in Rotherham in 1940, began his working life as a miner but turned to the entertainment industry following an accident at Silverwood Colliery in 1967. He slipped in the pit-head baths on some soap, resulting in double herniated discs, and he was pensioned off from the pit at the age of twenty seven. In his early career, he sang in clubs across South Yorkshire until he was offered TV work in the early 1970s. His big break came with Hi-de-Hi! in 1980. The series, which ran until 1988, won large audiences and a BAFTA for Best Comedy Series in 1984. Linda Kramer, his agent for fifteen years, said Paul had 'loved' playing the character of Ted Bovis. She added that he was paid 'the ultimate tribute' of being the subject of This is Your Life. Shane also worked on another Croft series Oh, Doctor Beeching! (1995-97), as well as Emmerdale, Common as Muck, A Touch of Frost, Very Big, Very Soon, Doctors, Turtle's Progress, Two Minutes and Holby City.

Following the death of Aubrey Woods reported earlier in the week, From The North is sad to report the deaths of a number of other actors with an association with Doctor Who. Firstly Norman Jones has died at the age of seventy eight. Norman appeared in fifteen episodes of Doctor Who; he first played Khrisong, the leader of the warrior monks, in the 1967 Patrick Troughton story The Abominable Snowmen. In 1970 he returned to the series playing Major Baker, the Head of Security, opposite Jon Pertwee in Doctor Who And The Silurians. His final role in the series came in 1976 when he played Hieronymous, the official astrologer of the Court of San Martino, in the Tom Baker story The Masque of Mandragora. Away from Doctor Who Norman was a terrific character actor with memorable roles in many classic British Television dramas including Screen Two, Inspector Morse, Boon, Travelling Man, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Angels, Jemima Shore Investigates, Crown Court, Bergerac, The Borgias, Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, A Tale of Two Cities, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, The Professionals, The Sweeney, Z Cars, Yes, Honestly, The Avengers and Dixon of Dock Green. A native of Shropshire, Norman also had minor roles in several films, including You Only Live Twice (1967), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), and The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971). His last appearance was in the 1988 shot-on-video British independent production, The Assassinator (released on DVD as Hitman). He died at his home in Newport, Shropshire on 23 April 2013. Sean Caffrey has also died at the age of seventy two. Sean played Lord Palmerdale in the 1977 Doctor Who story The Horror of Fang Rock. He is best remembered for his performances on television with credits including Coronation Street, Z-Cars, Sutherland's Law, Oil Strike North, Survivors, The Professionals, Minder, Bergerac and Edge of Darkness. He also appeared in the film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. Born in Belfast in 1940, he had a busy career on stage and in films. Sean was chosen out of the blue in 1965 to play Paddy, a lonely Irish youth just arrived in London in the TV drama Boy In The Smoke, which earned him rave reviews. The same year, he had a major role opposite stars Sarah Miles and Cyril Cusack in the film I Was Happy Here and, soon afterwards, opposite Francesca Annis in Run With The Wind. Sadly, Rashid Karapiet has also died at the age of eighty four. Rashid played Rita's father in the 2012 Doctor Who story The God Complex. Born in India in 1928, Karapiet trained at the Bristol Old Vic. He appeared in the 1984 film A Passage to India as well as a variety of television dramas including Auf Wiedersehn Pet, The Jewel in the Crown, The Bill, Tandoori Nights, Between The Lines, Mrs Merton and Malcolm, Doctors, Hustle, The Kumars at Number Forty Two, Family Affairs, New Tricks and Casualty. He was most recently seen in Eternal Law. And, finally, the costume designer Bobi Bartlett has died. Bobi worked on twenty four episodes of Doctor Who between 1968 and 1971. Her first commission was on a set of stories beginning with the 1968 story The Invasion, where she was tasked with updating the design of The Cybermen as well as designing costumes for Tobias Vaughn and UNIT. She continued into the following two stories, The Krotons and The Seeds of Death where as well as updating The Ice Warriors she designed the costume for The Grand Marshall. After a break from the series she returned in 1971 on the story The Mind of Evil. Away from Doctor Who she is best known for her work with Jon Pertwee on the Southern TV series Worzel Gummidge. Other work included Sykes, The Liver Birds, 1990, The Generation Game and Play for Today.

Virgin Records is to celebrate its fortieth anniversary with a plethora of events and highlights this autumn. An exhibition, book, documentary and a compilation CD - all benefiting the charity War Child - will mark the occasion. Richard Branson, who established Virgin when he was twenty two years old in 1973, said: 'Virgin Records is where it all started for Virgin and forty years later it's great to see we are still being innovative. This exciting series of events is the perfect way to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Virgin Records and the artists, from Mike Oldfield to Emeli Sandé, who continue to disrupt the status quo.' The exhibition will be held in Mornington Crescent, London, and will feature both seen and unseen photographs, seminal videos and memorabilia that epitomise some of Virgin's music collaborations. An art book, edited by music journalist Adrian Thrills, a TV documentary about Virgin Records from a team who have created television for BB1 and BBC4, and a compilation CD will all be released. The two-CD set will feature one disc with current Virgin artists, and another with original classics from the label. There will also be a series of Virgin Forty compilation CDs spanning the four decades. Meanwhile, the label has released a two-minute music montage on YouTube named 'Forty Years Of Disruptions'. The video features artists who have been signed by Virgin Records over the years, including Public Image Limited, The Human League, Daft Punk, UB40, Swedish House Mafia, The Verve, Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, The Spice Girls, The Sex Pistols, disgusting old stinking hippy Mike Oldfield and The Rolling Stones.

For today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, here's the point at which The Cure decided to stop being - entirely - miserable bastards, write some pop songs, create some cool videos with Tim Pope to go with them, have some hits and, you know, make some money. Good move, Robert!

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