Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We've Come Too Far To Give Up Who We Are

Britain's Got Toilets was easily the most watched show on Sunday evening, overnight data has revealed. An average of 8.14 million viewers tuned in to see Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and his worthless fellow judges pick their finalists at 8pm. This is seven hundred thousand punters less than the previous week's Saturday episode. Earlier, Celebrity Catchphrase was watched by 4.23m sick crushed victims of society at 7pm. On BBC1, Countryfile was seen by 4.54m at 7.30pm. Hugh Dennis's My Hero tribute to Ronnie Barker attracted 2.18m at 10.30pm. Jason Isaacs's drama Case Histories struggles against the talent show opposition, as it lost around 1.4m viewers from last week's premiere, falling to 3.47m at 8.30pm. BBC2's Ice Age Giants brought in 1.59m at 8.30pm, followed by Australia with Simon Reeve with 2.34m at 9.30pm. On Channel Four, Clare Balding's Secrets of a Suffragette was seen by eight hundred and fifty six thousand at 8pm. Channel Five's cricket coverage scored six hundred and sixty one thousand at 7pm, while a broadcast of the horror movie Drag Me To Hell was watched by eight hundred and twenty five thousand punters at 9pm.

Here's the final, consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Five programmes week-ending 19 May 2013:-
1 Britain's Got Toilets - ITV Sat - 10.36m
2 Coronation Street - ITV Mon - 9.27m
3 The Eurovision Snog Contest - BBC1 Sat - 7.83m
4 EastEnders - BBC1 Mon - 7.79m
5 Emmerdale - ITV Tues - 7.46m
6 Doctor Who - BBC1 Sat - 7.45m
7 The Apprentice - BBC1 Wed - 7.22m
8 The British Soup Awards 2013 - ITV Sun - 5.76m
9 UEFA Europa League Live - ITV Wed - 5.56m
10 Countryfile - BBC1 Sun - 5.50m
11 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 Sun - 5.48m
12 Case Histories - BBC1 Sun - 5.47m
13 Have I Got News For You - BBC1 Fri - 5.42m
14 Frankie - BBC1 Tues - 5.32m
15 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs - ITV Thurs - 5.25m*
16 BBC News - BBC1 Sun - 4.85m
17 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 Tues - 4.66m
18 The Fall - BBC2 Mon - 4.49m
19 Holby City - BBC1 Tues - 4.47m
20 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 Wed - 4.44m
21 Watchdog - BBC1 Wed - 4.40m
22 Murder On The Homefront - ITV Thurs - 4.30m*
23 The ONE Show - BBC1 Wed - 4.20m
24 Not Going Out - BBC1 Fri - 3.99m
25 Catchphrase - ITV Sun - 3.95m
Programmes marked '*' do not include HD figures.

The Fall has been recommissioned by the BBC for a second series. The crime drama - starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan - has given BBC2 their biggest drama series launch in eight years. The channel has now confirmed that a second run of episodes will go into production in due course. The show has achieved an average audience of 3.5 million so far following its premiere earlier this month. There are three episodes remaining of the first run, which ends on 10 June. The series focuses on Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (played, superbly, by Anderson), who is brought to Belfast to help catch serial killer Paul Spector (Dornan). Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama, said: 'The Fall has proved both a critical and ratings hit for BBC2 and another reminder of the resurgence of drama on the channel. With more of Allan Cubitt's intricate and thrilling plot revelations yet to unfold through the captivating performances of Gillian and Jamie, a second series is a must. Obviously we can't give too much away as the first series builds to a gripping cliffhanger, but what we can say is it will be surprising and intense as the first.' Writer and creator Cubitt added: 'The BBC has been an incredibly supportive partner in this project, and working with BBC NI and the Artists Studio has been the best experience of my career to date. I always envisioned The Fall as a returning series and wish to congratulate both Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan who have played their parts to perfection.'

Odious wretched horrorshow (and drag), the thoroughly nasty Bill Oddie has revealed that he is 'considering' appearing in Celebrity Big Brother. Simply one more reason not to watch it then, dear blog reader.

Odious Oddie's - much more personable - replacement on Springwatch, yer actual Chris Packham, is at it again, it would seem. Dear blog readers with longer memories may recall that in 2009 music bloggers noted how yer actual Packham was, seemingly, attempting to fit references to song titles by The Smiths into his Springwatch dialogue about every three minutes. He did the same with songs by The Cure in 2010, The Manic Street Preachers in 2011 and The Grand Dame David Bowie her very self in 2012's Springwatch. Chris then moved on to the names of some of his favourite movies in that year's Autumnwatch. In Winterwatch (January 2013) he was busy using Madness song titles into his pieces to camera. Thus, in the opening episode of 2013's Springwatch on Monday evening, early references to 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?', 'Hitsville UK', 'Remote Control' and 'Career Opportunities' alerted those looking for whom was going to be next out of the Packham record collection to cop some free publicity that, this time around, it's seemingly The Clash. Chris Packham. Top bloke!

Finally on the subject of Springwatch, this blogger wishes that yer actual Michaela Strachen hadn't spent the opening episode constantly wittering on about 'great tits', it was jolly distracting.

According to the usual obnoxious full-of-its-own-importance Gruniad Morning Star in what they describe as a shitehawk 'exclusive', 'some strong contenders have apparently dropped out of the race to succeed saturnine Danny Cohen as BBC1 controller.' This odious fraction of piece of journalism - based on rumour and hearsay - goes on to sneer that the author 'refuses to connect the fact that drama chief Ben Stephenson has withdrawn with news that criteria for the job were sent out that included "charisma" (equally unusually, they said the new custodian must be "brave" and equipped to "develop the BBC's commercial activities").' Poxy self-important lice. The hideous excuse for journalism goes on to allege that 'with BBC3's Zai Bennett also out of the running, Broadcast eyebrow-raisingly tips entertainment head Mark Linsey, although you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who'd describe his division as flourishing. But he does have the attraction of being unlikely to shock Cohen, key to the process as head of TV, by questioning the future of The Voice (dear to Cohen's heart, as he paid a reported twenty two million pounds for it): Linsey is its commissioner. It remains unclear if the selection panel will use revolving seats for the final interviews.' Don't you just sometimes want to put a few bricks through the Gruniad's windows, dear blog reader? They really do think they're effing it, don't they?

Former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross has issued a statement defending himself against criticism over published comments he made about rape. In his book, Crime, he said it had become 'sacrilege to suggest that there can be any gradation: rape is rape. The real experts, the victims, know otherwise,' he said. After criticism from anti-rape campaigners and on social media, he said that rape was 'one of the most defiling crimes' and could never be justified. The controversy comes after extracts from the 'Sex' chapter of his book Crime - subtitled how to solve it and why so much of what we're told is wrong - were published in the Scum Mail on Sunday. The extract featured said: 'Half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped, and this proportion rises strongly when the assault involves a boyfriend, or if the woman is drunk or high on drugs: they went too far, it wasn't forcible, they didn't make themselves clear.' He adds: 'For them, rape isn't always rape and, however upsetting, they feel it is a long way removed from being systematically violated or snatched off the street.' After publication, a number of newspapers reported that he had suggested 'rape isn't always rape' and then, with typical tact and decency set about soliciting comments from others. In a statement released on Sunday, Ross - who left BBC1's Crimewatch in 2007 - said the reaction to his writing was 'a false storm.' He said it 'sickens and appals' him that people could suggest he blamed rape victims or 'belittle what they suffer', adding that 'the opposite is true. For the record, lest it needs saying, and, as I make clear in the published extracts, anyone who suffers such a violating crime should be the centre of our concerns.' The book cited research which found many victims did not regard what happened to them as rape, 'even though in law it plainly was', he added. 'In other words victims themselves plainly see gradations in rape.' He said that, 'far from taking a chauvinistic view, my chapter on sexual crime disparages the patronising views of women that still too often prevail.' He added: 'Far from blaming people, my book says we are too quick to blame and that it tends to distract us from finding solutions to crime. While I acknowledge the self-evident truth that we - all of us - may, through our actions, make ourselves safer or more vulnerable to crime, that is not even remotely the same thing as justifying assault.'

Comedy Central has been ordered off the air for ten days in India after broadcasting 'obscene' jokes. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ruled that the English-language channel had twice aired offensive material last year and ordered the shut down earlier this week. First was an unnamed stand-up who performed an 'obscene' act with 'suggestive gestures' which 'offends good taste or decency' and 'denigrated women' in a Comedy Central Presents slot in May. The ruling referred to material that 'indecently and crudely referred to sex organs of men and women' adding that 'the sing-song rendition by the man sought to pornographically describe the male lust, depicting women as a commodity of sex. The portrayal appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality or morals.' Second was the hidden camera show Popcorn, which broadcast a joke in August in which a man is seen simulating sex with a pair of dummy legs. Comedy Central apologised for showing the material, which it said was broadcast because of 'unintentional genuine error.' However it contested the ban in Delhi High Court, but lost on Friday. Ministry secretary Uday Kumar Verma insisted: 'This is not causing curtailment of freedom of expression in any way.'

French dance duo Daft Punk have scored the UK's fastest-selling CD of the year so far with their Random Access Memories. The CD sold one hundred and sixty five thousand copies last week, the Official Charts Company said. Daft Punk's sales have surpassed those for the year's previously fastest-selling CD, Michael Buble's To Be Loved, which sold one hundred and twenty one thousand copies in its first week. Random Access Memories is the mysterious French retro-futurists' fourth studio CD and first UK number one and its success comes on the back of their hit single 'Get Lucky.'
A mother in America has been sent to yer actual pris for a month after mooning and flashing her breasts at her son's school bus driver. Lisa Grant, from Suffolk, Virginia, reportedly got into a heated argument with Melba Osborne after the driver sent a note home claiming Grant's son was 'misbehaving' on the vehicle. The thirty four-year-old went to confront Osborne, allegedly flashing one of her breasts in front of a bus full of terrified children before exposing her bottom to the driver and shouting: 'Kiss my white butt.' Now, her white butt is banged up in pokey where, presumably, her cell-mate - one Large Marge - will be doing exactly that on a nightly basis. 'She turned around, pulled her pants down, her underclothes down, bent over and told me to kiss her behind,' the Daily Scum Mail quotes Osborne as saying. Grant denied flashing, saying: 'I told her to kiss my white butt. I never - not once - mooned. I never showed her any body part, apart from my dress.' But, the court, seemingly, did not believe her. She was convicted of disorderly conduct on 21 May and sentenced to six months in jail over the November 2012 incident, with five months of her sentence suspended. Grant, who was found not guilty of an indecent exposure charge, was also fined two hundred and fifty dollars and will serve her jail time on the weekends only. Her son no longer rides the bus to school.

Bill Pertwee, who played Warden Hodges in Dad's Army, has died his agent has confirmed. The eighty six-year-old also starred as PC Wilson in David Croft and Jimmy Perry's subsequent sitcom You Rang M'Lud? and appeared in three Carry On films. Agent Meg Poole said that Bill had died peacefully on Monday with his family around him. He is survived by his son, Jonathan. Bill's Dad's Army character was a greengrocer who became chief air raid warden when World War II broke out. His catchphrase was: 'Put that light out!' and he was a constant thorn in the side of Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson (played by Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier respectively), who called him 'a common little man.' As chief tormentor of the local Home Guard, Warden Hodges proved far more of an irritant than the armed hordes of Nazi Germany which (almost) invariably left the citizens of Walmington-on-Sea in peace. Dressed in the brief authority of wartime office, Hodges pulled rank at every opportunity to act as a one-man counterweight to the military might represented by Captain Mainwaring's platoon. With the perfect put-down — Hodges riled Mainwaring by twitting him as 'Napoleon' — Pertwee played the town's tinpot dictator with total comic aplomb. The show ran for ten years, earned a BAFTA for best comedy in 1971 and inspired a film spin-off in the same year. Bill went on to become a founder member and the president of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society. Poole said: 'He was a really, really nice man. Very bright, very intelligent. He came from a big theatrical family, a big showbusiness family, and like all of them it was his life and it was very important to him and he was a hugely professional, very clever man.' Bill's wife, the actress Marion McLeod, died in 2005. He was made an MBE in 2006 for his services to charity - he supported children's hospices. William Desmond Anthony Pertwee was born on 21 July 1926 at Amersham, Buckinghamshire, the youngest of three brothers. His father, who was of Huguenot descent (the family name originally having been Pertuis), had not followed his own father into farming, but made his living as an engineer working for a firm selling tarmacadam to councils. Bill's mother had been born in Brazil. In the early 1930s the family moved to Glasbury-on-Wye in Radnorshire, and then, as their fortunes faltered, to Erith in Kent. There, Bill's eldest brother joined the Atlas Preservative Company as an export manager, the managing director being a twenty-year-old Denis Thatcher, whose father owned the firm. Bill was educated at a local convent and, following his father's death, moved with his mother and brothers to Blackheath. Evacuated at the outbreak of the Second World War to Sussex, he attended a local private school run by an eccentric called Felix Eames and, subsequently, he attended Dartford Technical College and Southend College. He took a job at the Southend Motor and Aero Club, which before the war had repaired funfair rides and dodgem cars, but was then making parts for Spitfire cannons. When the war ended, Bill was offered a job with Oxley Knox, a firm of City stockbrokers, but he was sacked when he answered the office telephone with a facetious impression of the broadcaster Raymond Glendinning, only to find Mister Knox his very self on the other end of the line. Who was, by all accounts, not amused. An advertisement in the Daily Torygraph for salesmen vacancies at Burberry's sports department led to another job, but a family friend soon offered Bill a better one in his window and office cleaning business. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s Bill developed his interest in showbusiness, becoming a regular at opening nights in the West End. In 1954 he became an assistant to his cousin, the actor Jon Pertwee then starring in The Navy Lark, and the following year Bill turned professional, joining a variety bill at Gorleston near Great Yarmouth on six quid a week. His break eventually came in 1958 with the offer to join the hugely popular radio show Beyond Our Ken starring Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams which ran until 1964. The same team (Horne, Williams, Pertwee, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden) subsequently made an even more popular sequel, the legendary Round The Horne (1965-68), created by Barry Took and Marty Feldman. Bill also appeared opposite Morecambe and Wise writer Eddie Braben - who died last week - in The Show with Ten Legs. Bill was also the author of several books, the first of which, Promenades and Pierrots (1979) traced the history of seaside entertainment in Britain. A follow-up, By Royal Command (1981), looked at the links between the Royal family and showbusiness. His autobiography, A Funny Way To Make A Living, appeared in 1996.

According to a - possibly entirely unreliable - press report, police have identified thirty six-year-old Johannes Van der Burgh as the primary suspect in Friday night's gruesome nightclub slaying of a twenty two-year-old Polish DJ, Mark Borowski. Van der Burgh — who was apprehended after police received several key leads from eyewitness testimony — confessed to the murder. He added to the confession by telling police that he was simply doing what 'any vinyl purist would have done.' Eyewitnesses state that Van der Burgh was seen hastily leaving Berlin's Berghain night club 'visibly distraught by something' which had occurred inside. Further eyewitness accounts confirm that Van der Burgh followed Browoski home to his apartment. Borowski had just finished performing a set of slammin' techno on the popular computer software Traktor, a set which reportedly according to many other concert-goers left the audience frustrated. '[Borowski's] simplistic dynamics and pre-set loops would drag for sixteen, thirty two, or even sixty four bars at a time,' alleged clubber Daniel Hirsch allegedly said. 'It doesn't really surprise me that he was murdered.' Popular DJ software has been know to induce rage in older DJs who fear things are becoming 'too easy.' Police arrived at Borowski's apartment after receiving numerous calls from his neighbours who claimed they 'heard some sort of dispute 'arising from within his home. Upon entry, police discovered a lifeless Borowski laying among two Technics SL1200 turntables. One turntable was covered in Borowski's own blood, the other plugged in and still playing a copy of Kraftwerk's The Man Machine. Is it 1 April already?

Today's Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, isn't Kraftwerk - although, it's probably should be. Instead, it's Britain's best selling record of the week, the first time that yer actual Keith Telly Topping had found himself a purchaser of a number one in, ooo, about five years at least. I'm suddenly in with the Cool Kids again. How'd that happen?

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